If an officer stops you and believes that you have been drinking, they will likely ask you to submit to a breathalyzer test. A breathalyzer is a small device that tests someone’s breath, estimating blood alcohol content (BAC).
It may appear as though you can simply refuse to take the test, and everything will be fine. Many states, however, have implemented “implied consent” laws that essentially force people to take the test. Nevada is one of these states. Failing to do so could result in legal consequences. These consequences for refusing can be serious, and they range from fines to outright license suspensions.
Here is a broad overview of how Nevada handles breathalyzer tests, what happens if you refuse one, and whether it's wise to do so.
Implied Consent Laws and Breathalyzer Tests
Implied consent is the assumption that drivers have consented to breathalyzer testing when they are suspected of drunk driving. Essentially, a driver is using public roads, so they are subjected to public safety standards, including a DUI test.
The Penalties for Refusing a Breathalyzer Test in Nevada
In Nevada, refusing to take a breathalyzer test is an offense under the state’s implied consent law. The law treats refusal as evidence that you’ve been drinking and are consciously attempting to avoid arrest.
If a driver refuses a breathalyzer test, they may suffer:
- Possible jail time
- Fines up to $1,000
- A license suspension of up to 90 days
- The police could even take you into custody until you consent to testing.
The authorities can also elevate these penalties if you have prior DUI convictions.
How Can You Refuse a Breathalyzer Test Without Getting Into Trouble In Nevada?
Refusing a breathalyzer test in Nevada can come with legal consequences, but you are within your rights to do so.
For the police officer to administer the test, they must first read a statement notifying you that refusal is illegal and will result in additional charges. To refuse, simply tell the officer that you are aware of your rights, and you choose to decline the breathalyzer. Remember to remain polite and compliant. You don’t want to give them reason to pin any other allegations onto you.
Most likely, you will suffer some of the consequences outlined above when you refuse. However, you could be able to avoid a full-blown DUI charge. Make sure to contact an attorney as soon as possible after a breathalyzer refusal.
Measures to Take After Refusing a Breathalyzer Test in Nevada
If you refuse a test, you will probably suffer some penalties.
However, you may be able to take the following steps to avoid further trouble:
- A plea agreement
- Probation programs
- Enrollment in alcohol safety classes
Before taking any of these deals, consult with an attorney. They can help make sure the deal is fair and just, and they may be able to keep even these penalties at a minimum.
The Law Offices of Kenneth A. Stover has years of experience defending clients against DUI allegations. We know all of the potential penalties you could face for refusing a breathalyzer test, and we can help you negotiate a reasonable alternative.
For a free consultation, call us now at (775) 502-1575 or contact us online.