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What Happens If I Refuse The Breathalyzer?

If you are operating or in physical control of a motor vehicle anywhere in Kentucky you are deemed to have given your consent to one or more tests of your blood, breath, or urine for purposes of determining alcohol concentration. This is called the implied consent law.  If you are charged with DUI, you do have the right to refuse to submit to a breathalyzer, however you will likely be subject to loss of license. At the testing site, at the time a chemical test is requested, you shall be informed that:

  • A refusal may be used against you in court as evidence and will result in revocation of your driver's license;
  • If you refuse and are subsequently convicted of DUI you will be subject to a mandatory jail sentence which is twice as long as the mandatory jail sentence imposed if you submit to the tests; and
  • If you refuse you will not be able to obtain a hardship license.

If you submit to the requested tests, you have the right to a test or tests of your blood performed by a person of your choosing within a reasonable time and at your expense. You must be advised of this right and specifically asked, Do you want such a test?  You must submit to all requested police chemical tests, except a portable breath test, before you have the right to an independent test. Even if you are acquitted or found not guilty of the DUI, the court may impose the appropriate license suspension for refusing to submit to a chemical test. For a DUI first offense refusal, a driver's license shall be suspended for 30 days to 120 days. For a DUI second offense refusal, a driver's license shall be suspended for 12 months to 18 months. For a DUI third offense refusal, a driver's license shall be suspended for 24 months to 36 months. For a DUI fourth offense refusal, a driver's license shall be suspended for sixty (60) months. You have the right to contact a lawyer for 15 minutes prior to deciding if you wish to submit to a breathalyzer test.  You should contact a lawyer if possible during that period of time.  If you are charged with a DUI in Northern Kentucky, contact Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at [email protected].

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