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Can I refuse a breath test in North Dakota?

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2024 | DUI

Driving under the influence (DUI), whether of alcohol or substances, is often a serious offense that can lead to severe penalties based on state law. The same goes for incidents that happen in North Dakota. Law enforcement in the state takes these offenses seriously, considering their likelihood of causing collisions that may lead to grave injuries and fatalities.

Additionally, authorities usually use various methods to determine if a driver is drunk while operating their vehicle. Sometimes, an officer can conduct field sobriety tests, but a breath test can be more accurate in gauging intoxication through blood alcohol content (BAC).

What happens if I refuse it?

In any scenario, law enforcement officers typically need a driver’s consent before performing any tests. It is possible to refuse them, but it may lead to legal consequences because of implied consent. In North Dakota, any driver operating a vehicle automatically consents to tests for measuring intoxication.

Refusing the test is often a violation of this state law provision, potentially leading to license revocation ranging from 180 days to around three years. The applicable penalties can also vary, depending on the events leading to and after the traffic stop. Sometimes, officers pull over drivers after collisions or altercations, which can add to their DUI violation.

Understanding the repercussions of breath test refusals

Although implied consent rules apply in traffic stops, other details can impact what happens next. Even if an officer takes a driver in for DUI, there can be factors during the stop or test that can affect the outcome, such as whether mistakes occurred affecting the results or the officer did not follow standard protocols. These pieces of information can be crucial in helping parties understand their situation and if the sanctions are proportionate with their offense.