After a night out at a Las Vegas casino, you get in the car to drive home. You don’t feel like you’ve had too much to drink, but when a cop pulls you over, you find yourself out of the car with the officer asking you to take a roadside breath test. Should you comply?
You may have received inaccurate advice from friends and family about how to beat breath testers or how refusing a test means that police can’t arrest you. However, Nevada’s implied consent laws mean that you can face punishments just for refusing a test.
Implied consent in Nevada
As part of receiving a license, Nevada law says that you have already consented to a breath, blood or urine test. This law also states that you consent to a roadside breath test. If you refuse, the arresting officer can revoke your license for a year.
Refusing a preliminary test
When police first suspect you of driving under the influence of alcohol, the officer will ask you to do a preliminary breath test. This is a roadside test that strengthens the officer’s reasonable grounds to arrest you. Even though they can’t use the results against you in court, police can justify their reasons for the arrest.
If you refuse, the officer can take away your license. And if they already have probable cause of your impairment, they will still arrest you.
Refusing an evidentiary test
Once the police arrest you, they will ask you to take a breath or blood test at the station. The results of this test can be evidence against you in court. And like the preliminary test, you can lose your license for refusing.
If you refuse, police can obtain a warrant and force you to provide a blood sample. A prosecutor can then use both your refusal and the results of the test against you in court. Your refusal can be considered an admission of guilt.
Refusal can have stiff consequences
Consenting to DUI testing can be a difficult decision. While you don’t want to give police evidence to build a case against you, you also don’t want to lose your license. If you are unsure of what to do, you may want to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after the arrest.
By driving on Nevada roads, you automatically give consent to breathe and blood tests. While you can still refuse, the consequences of refusing can leave you without a license.