What happens if you refuse chemical testing?

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

During a traffic stop or after an accident, a law enforcement officer may have reasonable grounds to believe that you may be under the influence of alcohol. If so, the officer has the authority to require you to provide a sample for chemical testing. The requested sample may consist of breath, urine or blood.

Refusal to submit to chemical testing represents a violation of Nebraska’s implied consent laws. Before you refuse a test, you should understand the possible implications.

What does the law consider a refusal?

The law explicitly defines a refusal of chemical testing as anything other than unequivocal, unqualified assent to law enforcement’s request for a sample.

Does chemical testing refusal prevent the prosecution from building a case against you?

When your case goes to trial, the prosecution cannot enter evidence against you that it does not have. However, your refusal to submit to testing is admissible in court as evidence against you.

What are the consequences of refusing chemical testing?

Refusing chemical testing is a separate offense from drunk driving. It carries its own consequences that the court may impose in addition to any DUI penalties.

What is advisement?

Before obtaining a sample for chemical testing, law enforcement must explain to you the implications of a failed test as well as the consequences for refusal. You cannot face criminal charges for refusal to submit to testing if law enforcement did not provide the necessary advisement. However, the results of any chemical testing that takes place are still admissible with or without advisement.

Are there circumstances in which refusal of testing is justifiable?

Refusal may be justifiable when the testing and/or the request to submit a sample is unreasonable or illegal in some way. You may still face short-term consequences such as license suspension, but if there was an illegal aspect to the testing, that may help you to avoid a criminal conviction for refusal.