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Consequences of Refusing a DUI Test in Columbus, Ohio

Posted On: June 8th, 2018   |   Posted by: Luftman, Heck & Associates LLP
Keys, Drink, and Handcuffs

More and more Ohioans choose to refuse breath, urine, or blood tests when they get arrested for drunk driving. According to data from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, around 83,000 Ohioans had a suspended license in 2013. 54 percent of them had refused a blood alcohol content (BAC) test, versus 46 percent who had accepted and failed said tests. The data shows that the proportion of drivers choosing to refuse a test has been steadily increasing, despite the serious consequences of refusing a DUI test.

If you’re facing consequences for refusing a BAC test, call a Columbus DUI lawyer from Luftman, Heck & Associates at (614) 500-3836, or reach out online to schedule a free and confidential case consultation.

Administrative License Suspension

Like most states, Ohio has an implied consent law. This means that your driver’s license will get suspended if you refuse to take a blood, breath, or urine test after being legally arrested for driving under the influence. This administrative penalty is independent of any criminal charges you may face, and its length depends on how many prior refusals you have.

Driver’s license suspensions for BAC test refusals are:

  • First refusal – One-year suspension
  • Second refusal within six years of the first – Two-year suspension
  • Third refusal within six years of the last – Three-year suspension
  • All subsequent refusals – Five-year suspension

A license suspension can have devastating consequences on your personal and professional life, because you will no longer be able to drive to work, to school, or to other activities. People who can prove extreme hardship because of the license suspension may qualify for restricted driving privileges, but many individuals do not qualify for this remedy. At the end of the suspension term, you will need to pay a $475 fee to get your license reinstated.

Criminal Penalties for Refusing a BAC Test With a Prior DUI Conviction

If you have any prior drunk driving convictions, you may face criminal charges if you refuse to submit to a BAC test after a lawful DUI arrest under Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.19(A)(2). As a misdemeanor of the first degree, a test refusal within 20 years of a prior conviction is punishable by three to 180 days in jail, a $1,000 fine, substance abuse counseling, probation, and yellow DUI license plates. The penalties increase with each prior DUI conviction you collect.

The charges and eventual penalties for a test refusal with prior conviction are independent of your DUI charges. If the court finds you guilty of DUI in addition to refusing a breath, blood, or urine test, you may get saddled with further penalties. Because of the severity of the consequences of refusing a DUI test, it is unwise to refuse such a test if you have a prior DUI conviction.

Facing Consequences for Refusing a DUI Test? Contact Us Today for Help

Refusing a BAC test is not a good idea if you have any prior DUI convictions. In other situations, refusing the chemical test could decrease your chances of getting convicted. If you’ve been charged with drunk or drugged driving, a Columbus DUI lawyer from Luftman, Heck & Associates can help. Call us today at (614) 500-3836, or submit a request through our online form to schedule your free, initial consultation.

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