Penalty for Refusing a Breathalyzer Test

If your state has implied consent laws, then refusing a breathalyzer test will result in your being taken to jail. There, you will need to submit to a chemical test of either blood, urine, or breath to verify your level of intoxication.

  1. Implied Consent

    • Refusing a breathalyzer will result in being taken to jail.
      Refusing a breathalyzer will result in being taken to jail.

      When applying for your driver's license, you agree to adhere to your state's implied consent law. This law requires that when asked to by an officer of the law, you must hand over your license and registration, and consent to a field sobriety test.


    • There is a common misconception that by refusing a breathalyzer test, your blood alcohol level will be lower by the time you are tested in jail. This is not necessarily true. Depending on the time of your last alcoholic drink, it may not enter your bloodstream until later.

    Accuracy of Breathalyzers

    • Breathalyzer accuracy can vary.
      Breathalyzer accuracy can vary.

      Current research on the accuracy of breathalyzers indicates that results tend to vary up to 15%. This variation can mean a lower or higher blood alcohol reading when tested.

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  • Photo Credit to drunk to drive image by Marjan Veljanoski from handcuffs one image by Paul Moore from chemical experience image by Sergey Galushko from

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