What is a Refusal Hearing?
If you are stopped by the police and are suspected of driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI), the police officer may request that you take a chemical test. This test is usually a breathalyzer, but in some cases officers may request a blood or urine test depending on what substance they believe you have been using. If you refuse to take this test, you can be arrested, and you will have to appear in court for a DUI/DWI refusal hearing.
Understanding Implied Consent
Nevada requires that you take a blood, urine, or breathalyzer test if you are arrested for a DUI. They use the “implied consent” law, which means that if an officer has probable cause to arrest you, then you consent already to taking the chemical test. You must take this test within two hours of last driving.
This law requires that you take a preliminary breath test, even if you have not yet been arrested. This works like the field sobriety test to see if you are in fact over the legal limit. The officer will then use those results to determine if they have probable cause, and if you were actually driving while under the influence. If you refuse to take the preliminary test, the officer can take your driver’s license, arrest you, and put you in jail or take you to a hospital for a chemical test.
What Happens When You Refuse?
If you refuse to take a test for medical reasons – such as a hemophiliac that refuses to take a blood test – the officers must provide you with a secondary chemical test. If, however, you do not have a medical reason for refusing the test, you could face harsh penalties. Also, if you refuse to take one type of test and they administer a more costly test, and then you are convicted of a DUI, you will have to pay for that test out of your own pocket.
If your forced test comes back with an over-the-limit blood alcohol level, the state of Nevada will revoke your license for 90 days for refusing to take the initial test. The state does allow officers to use reasonable force to obtain the necessary chemical test. Also note that, if you refuse to take that test, it can be used against you in court.
Refusing Could Lead to Harsher Penalties
If you refuse to take the chemical test, you may not avoid conviction. You can be found guilty of a DUI even if there is no proof your BAC was over the 0.08 percent threshold. Therefore, it is in your best interest to take a blood or other chemical test rather than refuse.
Arrested for a DUI? Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney
You have the right to obtain counsel for your DUI arrest. If you are thinking about refusing to take a chemical test, contact the attorneys at De Castroverde Law Group right away. An attorney can advise you regarding your rights and help you explore the best defense options without harming your chances for a successful outcome. Call us today at (702) 222-9999 or fill out an online contact form to schedule your consultation.