We have all seen the images - a person blowing into a breathalyzer after getting stopped by police or, maybe even someone getting their blood drawn in order for the officer to determine the driver's BAC. Many people assume that if you get pulled over by Kansas law enforcement under the suspicion of drunk driving, that you must submit to these types of tests. That's just not true.
Of course, there are penalties for refusing. And sometimes, these penalties are rougher than the ones you get if actually convicted for DUI after taking one of these tests. So, what are these penalties? In order to understand different penalties, it's important to have a basic understanding of the types of tests you may be asked to participate in.
PBT: A preliminary breath test (PBT) is done at the scene. Here, law enforcement officers use a small device in order to take a sample of your breath. The device will help to determine whether you have consumed alcohol. This is different than the traditional chemical test which provides for more accurate results. A PBT is typically the last test offered by the officer before she makes her decision to arrest.
A PBT can also be the sole reason you are arrested. For instance, say you were asked to do some field sobriety tests and you did well, but if you do poorly on the PBT, the officer may still arrest you for DUI.
Consequences for Refusing PBT: If you refuse to submit to a PBT, you will likely receive a fine for $200. Refusing a PBT will never result in license suspension.
Chemical Tests: These are the more traditional tests and include breath, blood and urine samples. However, urine testing is rare. If you are asked to submit to a chemical test, it will likely be either breath or blood.
A breath test will normally be taken at the police station with an Intoxilyzer 8000. This is a larger device than what is used for PBTs and it generally provides for more accurate results. Blood tests may only be performed by: a person licensed to practice medicine, a registered or licensed nurse, a qualified medical technician, or a phlebotomist.
Consequences for refusing chemical tests: If you refuse to submit to a chemical test, you may be charged with the crime of Refusal. The crime of Refusal is fairly new and not all jurisdictions will charge a driver of this crime. Generally, District Courts are more likely to charge you with the crime of Refusal than municipal courts.
If convicted, and this is your first Refusal offense, your license will be suspended for one year, along with a minimum of two years restricted license. Your license is restricted by having an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. In addition, you may be given a jail sentence for a time of 90 days to one year. Here, there is a possibility of getting 120 hours of house arrest or work release after spending 48 hours in jail. A fine between $1,250 to $1,750 is also imposed.
Along with a charge of Refusal, you will also be punished with administrative penalties for refusing a chemical test. Here, you will get a one year driver's license suspension and two years of restrictive driving with the installation of an ignition interlock device for a first offense.
If you have been arrested and charged with DUI in Kansas, contact my office. You deserve to have a DUI attorney who will provide you with a strong defense and will make sure that your rights are protected!