Harsher Implied Consent Laws Mean Greater Penalties for Test Refusal
Implied consent laws are put into place alongside DUI laws to ensure that, if an individual is stopped for suspicion of drinking and driving, they will submit to a blood alcohol test. Most states have implied consent laws requiring an immediate administration license suspension should you refuse a BAC test, but Maine and Nebraska have the greatest penalties for test refusal.
If you are stopped for suspicion of DUI in Maine and you refuse to take a BAC test, you will immediately lose your license for up to 6 years. In addition, a judge in Maine may consider the refusal to submit to a BAC test as an aggravating factor and add an additional suspension to an offender’s sentence as well as consider mandatory jail time.
In Nebraska, refusing to submit to a blood alcohol test results in an immediate license suspension of 90 days, but the real issue for drinking drivers is that if you refuse to submit to a blood, alcohol, or urine test when asked, the end result is almost always the same outcome as if you are convicted of DWI. A study performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that offenders in Nebraska who refused to submit to a BAC test and those who were convicted of DWI ended up with the same type of sentencing. Drivers who submitted to the BAC test had a slightly lower conviction rate, which may be why the state had one of the lowest refusal rates in the study – Weighing in at only 6% refusal according to 2005 data.