Even if you live in the city, the wide open spaces across Oklahoma probably make driving a virtual necessity for you. If you drink and drive, though, you are likely to lose your driving privileges. In fact, according to the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety, a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol comes with an automatic suspension of your driver’s license.
Rather than being able to arrest you on a hunch or whim, officers in the Sooner State must have probable cause to support your arrest. For DUI matters, probable cause can come from a failed breath test. You do not have to submit to the test, though. Still, before you decline, you should understand Oklahoma’s implied consent law.
What is the implied consent law?
Simply by driving on public roads in Oklahoma, you give your implied consent for officers to perform chemical testing to determine whether your blood alcohol concentration is above the legal limit. Pursuant to the state’s implied consent law, officers can test your breath, blood, urine or saliva.
What happens if you refuse?
Even though you have given your implied consent for chemical testing, officers usually cannot hold you down and force you to provide a sample. Put differently, you have a right to refuse chemical testing. Exercising this right comes with some serious consequences, however.
If you refuse to provide a breath, blood, urine or saliva sample, the state will automatically suspend your driver’s license for six months. A second refusal is likely to lead to a year-long suspension of your driving privileges.
Ultimately, because prosecutors can use your refusal as evidence of guilt, opting not to provide a sample might not even help you beat DUI charges.