What happens if I refuse the DUI breathalyzer?

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Don't think if you're caught drunk driving, you can simply refuse all the tests and escape with little or no punishment. Sure, you don't have to cooperate and take a DUI breathalyzer or other chemical tests. But, if you don't, you'll face automatic penalties. These penalties are in addition to whatever penalties you may receive if you're convicted of DUI or DWI charges. And, even if you're found not guilty of the charge later, many states still require you to serve the full penalties given for refusing to take the breath, blood, or urine test.

Obviously, this is a complex area. So, if you find yourself in such a situation, it's a good idea to consult with a qualified DUI lawyer who can explain your state's DUI laws and penalties, advise you about your rights, and possibly keep your charges and penalties to a minimum.

Here is a look at the typical penalties facing first-time offenders who refuse to take a chemical test. Again, additional penalties may apply later if you're convicted, including a longer loss of driving privileges, heavy fines, community service, drunk driving education classes, and jail time. You may be able to delay your initial refusal penalties by requesting an administrative hearing within the specified amount of time offered by your state.

Automatic Loss of Driving Privileges Automatic Jail Time
Alabama
x
Alaska
x
x
Arizona
x
Arkansas
x
California
x
Colorado
x
Connecticut
x
Delaware
x
Florida
x
Georgia
x
Hawaii
x
Idaho
x
Illinois
x
Indiana
x
Iowa
x
Kansas
x
Kentucky
x
Louisiana
x
Maine
x
x
Maryland
x
Massachusetts
x
Michigan
x
Minnesota
x
Mississippi
x
Missouri
x
Montana
x
Nebraska
x
Nevada
x
New Hampshire
x
New Jersey
x
New Mexico
x
New York
x
North Carolina
x
North Dakota
x
Ohio
x
Oklahoma
x
Oregon
x
Pennsylvania
x
Rhode Island
x
South Carolina
x
South Dakota
x
Tennessee
x
Texas
x
Utah
x
Vermont
x
Virginia
x
Washington
x
West Virginia
x
Wisconsin
x
Wyoming
x
Washington DC
x

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