Oklahoma, like all other states, has what are known as "implied consent" laws. Per these laws, any person who operates a vehicle in the state is considered to have given consent to a blood alcohol concentration test, or breath test, if requested of him or her. While a person has every right to refuse a breath test, it is important to note that the state will impose strict penalties for doing so.
If you were recently the subject of a DUI stop in Oklahoma, and if you refused to participate in the BAC test, it would be in your best interests to consult a Ponca City DUI defense lawyer right away. Our attorneys at BDIW Law can help you defend your decision to refuse the test and strive to have the charges against you dropped or, at the very least, reduced. Contact our law firm today to learn more.
Per the United States Constitution, law enforcement can not force you to do anything so long as you are a free citizen who has not been proven guilty of a crime. Oklahoma law provides more or less the same rights. Under state law, you have the right to refuse testing that applies to breath, urine, or blood. An officer can not force you to consent unless he or she has a warrant or unless you were involved in a serious or fatal accident. You can invoke your right, but know that doing so will have consequences.
If you refuse a DUI test in Oklahoma, you will be subject to certain repercussions. Those repercussions are as follows:
● License Suspension: Drivers who refuse to participate in a breath, urine, or blood test when requested of them stand to have their license revoked for a period of not less than 180 days. Suspension may last for as long as three years. Once the suspension period is up, drivers will have to agree to an ignition interlock device restriction for 18 months to five years. It is important to note that the charge for refusing a DUI test is separate from a criminal DUI charge, and penalties still apply even if your DUI charge is ultimately dismissed.
● Evidentiary Uses: The state can use your refusal to submit to DUI testing against you in court. Though refusal is not evidence of guilt in and of itself, decision makers may wonder why you did not just submit to the breath test if you were, in fact, sober. Moreover, the jury does not need breath test results to convict you of a DUI .
● Warrant: Oklahoma law enforcement can obtain a warrant to conduct blood draw on you. If the arresting officer obtains a warrant, you can not refuse testing, and an officer can draw blood via force if necessary.
If you think the laws are harsh now, know that Oklahoma lawmakers are pushing to make them even more so. In 2017, the state made a drastic amendment to its current implied consent laws that changed the duration of suspensions, criminalized breath test refusals, and created an Impaired Accountability Program. However, in December of that same year, the amendment was deemed unconstitutional, and laws reverted to their prior versions. However, lawmakers are currently working on new amendments.
Once you refuse a breath test, the damage is already done. However, you may be able to lessen the consequences by retaining the help of a knowledgeable and aggressive Ponca City DUI defense attorney. Contact BDIW Law today to discuss your case in depth and to learn more about your legal options.