If a police officer thinks that you are under the influence while driving, they will pull you over and ask you some very direct questions about your recent activity. If your answers or behavior make the situation imply that you may have had alcohol or counter an officer’s perception of the situation, they may ask you to exit the vehicle to perform field sobriety tests.
Once an Oklahoma police officer has probable cause to suspect you of impairment at the wheel, they might also ask you to perform a chemical test. They will hand you a small piece of paper advising you that the state has an implied consent law. It says that they can’t force you to perform a blood or breath test, but refusing to do so will lead to your arrest and the loss of your license.
What happens if you don’t agree to roadside chemical testing?
An implied consent violation will lead to your arrest
Anytime a police officer has probable cause to believe that a driver is under the influence, they can request a chemical test, often as part of the arrest process. If a driver refuses to perform the test, they will usually end up immediately taken into state custody if that wasn’t already in process.
They will face the suspension of their license for refusing to perform the chemical test and may have to pay a fine as well. Depending on the circumstances, an implied consent violation could mean using your license for anywhere from 6 months to three years.
The state will also often require the installation of an ignition interlock device in someone’s vehicle after they regain driving privileges. Drivers may only have restricted driving privileges for the first few years after a suspension.
Refusing a test won’t necessarily prevent charges
Many people think that Oklahoma state prosecutors will struggle to bring charges against them if they don’t provide a chemical sample. However, they will typically be video footage and an officer’s statement related to someone’s driving, their behavior during the traffic stop and their refusal to perform the chemical test.
Understanding the rules that apply during a drunk driving traffic stop will help you potentially minimize the consequences you face.