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Know your refusal rights for blood alcohol concentration testing

As the football season continues on and the winter holiday season approaches, many people are going to head out to parties. Coming home from parties might require advance planning because you might be tired or have had a few drinks.

One thing that you might not be prepared for right now is to face a drunk driving charge. If you are showing signs that you are driving drunk, a police officer might pull you over. The events after this occurs determine what fate you face.

You probably realize that the law enforcement officer who stops you might ask you to take a test to determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). This test is one that can be done in a few ways, including a breath test, a blood test or a urinalysis. What you might not realize is that you do have options for handling this situation.

Even though you can refuse to take the test, you should realize that there are still penalties for doing this. You could face a driver's license suspension for saying you won't take the test. In some cases, it might be possible for you to be forced to take it.

Historically, police officers would have to go through a cumbersome process to get a search warrant to obtain a sample for testing. This likely involved waking a judge and presenting a piece of paper. Now, electronic means and other options are making it easier to obtain a warrant.

No-refusal DUI enforcement is one of the methods that is used. Once the police officer has an electronic warrant, you won't be able to refuse to provide the sample. This is something that is disheartening to many. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is one of the organizations taking a stand against these policies.

It is noted that no-refusal policies seem to be violations of the driver's rights to avoid unreasonable seizures and searches. Ultimately, you need to be aware of your options and the penalties of them just in case you are asked to provide a sample for a BAC test over the holiday season.

Source: FindLaw, "No-Refusal DUI Enforcement," accessed Nov. 8, 2017

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