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What happens if you refuse a Breathalyzer test in Montana?

On Behalf of | Jul 15, 2022 | Criminal Law |

When law enforcement has probable cause to believe you are driving under influence (DUI), they will pull you over for investigation. Besides the field sobriety tests, the police may direct you to take a breath test. This test is meant to establish your blood alcohol content (BAC) level. 

If the police ask you to take this chemical test, you might wonder whether you should agree. After all, the last thing you want is to incriminate yourself. However, it helps to know that refusing to take a Breathalyzer test does have consequences. 

Chemical breath tests and the legal concept of implied consent

Technically, you can refuse the test. However, this is something you want to give serious thought to thanks to a legal concept known as “implied consent.”

Like in the rest of the country, driving is a privilege governed by Montana laws. You consent to chemical testing when duly directed to do so by a law enforcement officer. 

What are the consequences of refusing a Breathalyzer test?

You can decline a Breathalyzer test in Montana. However, the police will immediately confiscate your driver’s license.

Your DUI charge will not go away just because you refused the test, either. Rather, the prosecution may cite your refusal as an admission of guilt by saying you refused because you knew you would fail it. 

Deciding what to do in the heat of the moment isn’t easy – but a single mistake shouldn’t be allowed to ruin your future. When you are charged with drunk driving, it is important that you explore your options for a defense.