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Can I Refuse to Take a Breathalyzer Test in Nevada?

Once you have obtained a valid driver's license in the state of Nevada, you have inadvertently consented to cooperate with law enforcement if they suspect that you have been driving under the influence. This is known as "implied consent," and means that you cannot legally refuse to submit to chemical testing without consequence—including a breath, blood or urine test. For this reason, it is important to understand what penalties you could face for failing to cooperate. According to NRS 484C.150, law enforcement can ask you to take a preliminary breath test (PBT) while in the field if they have reasonable grounds to believe that you were drunk driving. Should you refuse, the officer can seize your license, issue a 90-day suspension and arrest you for DUI.

Although the officer may not have a measurement of your blood-alcohol concentration before the arrest, they are permitted to use "reasonable force" in order to administer an evidentiary breath, blood or urine test thereafter—which may include constraint. For this reason, it is recommended that you cooperate with law enforcement when they ask you to consent, as you can always challenge the validity of the results later. According to NRS 484C.160, refusing an evidentiary chemical test will result in a mandatory one-year suspension of your driver's license. If you have refused a chemical test within the previous seven years, however, the suspension will be extended to three years. Although you may be able to request a specific test, it is advisable that you do not refuse altogether.

It is important to understand that submitting to, and failing, a breathalyzer test does not necessarily mean that you will automatically be convicted of a DUI offense. Even if your blood-alcohol concentration is measured above the legal limit of .08%, there are numerous ways in which a Reno DUI attorney from The Law Office of Walter B. Fey can challenge the validity of the results. For example, cases are frequently dismissed because the breathalyzer machine was faulty and/or inaccurately calibrated. Additionally, your lawyer may even be able to prove that a blood sample was improperly tested or that the chain of custody was unclearly documented. Under these circumstances, the evidence that has been collected from a chemical test would be considered inadmissible.

For this reason, you should never assume that it is too late to fight your DUI charges. Whether you have been accused of "drugged driving" or driving under the influence as a minor, the Reno DUI lawyer at our firm is well-equipped to defend you. Contact the firm today at 1-888-339-4384 to schedule an initial consultation with our team. From there, we will be able to guide you through the subsequent legal process.