Every driver is aware that driving under the influence (DUI) is not only dangerous but also a major traffic offense with criminal implications. Each state sets its own laws governing how much alcohol is too much and whether the police have the right to conduct a Breathalyzer test at the scene. Most drivers do not know, however, what the impact of refusing to take a Breathalyzer test is in an implied consent state such as Kentucky.

What is implied consent?

In this case, implied consent means that the simple act of driving, having a driver’s license and proof of insurance, and providing those documents to the police when stopped on suspicion of DUI gives them the right to test you on the scene. Other states may have different conditions for implied consent, such as performing field sobriety tests when asked. But in Kentucky, the fact that you are on the road is considered a privilege, not a right.

What happens if I refuse to take a Breathalyzer test?

In short, nothing good. You should know that by declining to take the test:

• Your refusal can be used as proof against you at your trial.

• You will probably lose your license on the spot.

• If convicted, your sentence could be twice as bad.

Face it. If you’re drunk, you’re drunk, and refusing the Breathalyzer isn’t doing you any favors. It would be better to just take the test and pray for the best. If you pass the test, you’ll be back on your way to your destination, license still in hand. If you fail the test, you’ll be getting a ride home from the officers and facing your day in court without any kind of prejudice against you when it comes to sentencing.

A criminal defense attorney may be able to help if you are confused about how the Breathalyzer impacts your case. The bottom line is to avoid the need for a Breathalyzer. Don’t drink and drive; the life you save may be your own.