What Really Happens If You Refuse a Roadside Sobriety Test?
Until now, perhaps it has been a bit unclear what happens when a suspected drunk driver refuses a roadside sobriety test, but it's about to become crystal clear.
According to No DUI Colorado, out of more than 22,000 impaired driving cases in Colorado last year, over 6,000 drivers refused to take a sobriety test. Perhaps, not realizing the consequences of refusal are, in fact, sobering.
Refusing a test does not mean you are off the hook.
Sobriety tests include roadside tests such as walking the line and/or a portable breath test. Post-arrest chemical tests could include breath, blood, and urine.
For starters, even if it's your first offense and you refuse to take the test, you are considered a persistent drunk driver. Even if you aren't convicted or are impaired by a drug other than alcohol, you receive the persistent drunk driver designation. That means you lose your drivers license for a year, you have to have an automatic ignition interlock device for 24 months, and if you have a prior offense, do more than 100 hours of drug and alcohol education.
On top of those consequences, it all costs the offender money. The average cost of an ignition interlock system is over $2,200 and the cost of the education is around $1,000. Anybody got an extra 3K just laying around?
DUI offenses are completely preventable, and it all starts with the person behind the wheel. Just know that if you get busted, refusing to take a sobriety test is not going to be the easy way out.