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Can you refuse a chemical test after the police pull you over for a DUI?

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Vermont’s rules regarding chemical tests after the police pull someone over for a DUI are governed by implied consent laws. When you obtain a driver’s license, you automatically consent to submit to a chemical test if a police officer arrests you. 

If the office has reasonable grounds to believe you have been operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you may need to undergo chemical tests.

Refusing a chemical test

Refusing a chemical test carries serious consequences, including criminal charges. First, your refusal will result in an immediate administrative license suspension. Also, the court might suspend your driver’s license for at least six months for a first offense. 

Additionally, the prosecution could use your refusal to take the test against you in court. You could also face enhanced penalties if convicted of a DUI.

If you refuse to take a chemical test after being lawfully arrested for impaired driving, the arresting officer needs to inform you of the consequences of refusal. 

Right to refuse

However, it’s important to note that you have the right to refuse a preliminary breath test (PBT). If the officer asks you to blow into a portable breath test device before an arrest, you can question their actions. 

Refusing a PBT does not carry the same administrative penalties as refusing a post-arrest chemical test.

Understanding Vermont’s implied consent laws and the consequences of refusing a chemical test is crucial for drivers. Being informed about your rights and the potential penalties can help you make better decisions if you find yourself in this situation.