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What happens if you refuse a chemical test at a DUI stop?

On Behalf of | Nov 3, 2023 | DUI |

Unlike refusing field sobriety testing, refusing chemical testing can have significant legal consequences.

Chemical testing is standard procedure for a DUI stop, and Nebraska officers request these tests for evidence of driving under the influence.

Nebraska’s implied consent law

Like most states, Nebraska has an implied consent law that states that anyone in actual physical control of a vehicle automatically consents to breath, urine or blood chemical testing if stopped for suspicion of DUI.

Before they administer a test, the officer must inform you of implied consent laws, including the consequences of refusing.

Proving DUI without a chemical test

Without evidence from field sobriety or chemical testing, prosecutors will struggle to prove a DUI charge in court. However, they will likely argue that you refused the test to intentionally hide intoxication. Therefore, it is possible to face a conviction, even without that evidence.

Penalties for refusing

First-time offenders may face up to 60 days in jail, a $500 fine and six months of license suspension. A second refusal with a prior DUI conviction can lead to a maximum of one year in jail, a $1,000 fine, license revocation of up to 15 years and immobilization of any vehicle the defendant owns, depending on the circumstances. Third-time offenses could result in up to three years in jail, $10,000 in fines, vehicle immobilization and 15 years without a license.

A number of circumstances can impact a DUI case, and a charge is not a conviction. If you face a DUI charge, you still have your day in court to fight.