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Test Refusal

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Definition - What does Test Refusal mean?

In most states drivers who have a valid driver's license have given their implied consent, under state's implied consent laws, to submit to a chemical test if they are stopped and arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Chemical testing may be done using a driver's blood, urine or breath.

Test refusal or refusing to take a chemical test can have severe legal consequences. The first consequence is an automatic administrative license suspension which is separate from any criminal actions which might be taken against the driver. Under an administrative license suspension a driver's license will be suspended for a specified time period (as defined by each state's laws). In some states test refusal may also be considered "consciousness of guilt" and may be presented as evidence of guilt at a subsequent DUI trial.

Whether or not to refuse a chemical test is a difficult decision, one which may or may not be made with the assistance of legal counsel. Some states do not allow drivers to consult with a DUI lawyer prior to making the decision while others give the driver a "reasonable period of time" to make contact.

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