Getting pulled over for a breathalyzer test can be frightening, but it is important to know what you have agreed to before you get behind the wheel. Like many states in the US, Arkansas is an “implied consent” state. According to Findlaw, this means that if you are stopped on suspicion of being over the legal limit while driving and refuse a sobriety test, your license will automatically be suspended.
It is important to know your rights, and a police officer cannot legally force you to take a sobriety test against your will. However, in Arkansas this means that your license will be taken away, since the act of applying for a driver’s license in this state automatically means that you have consented to sobriety tests as a condition of holding the license. Even if you do not have a driver’s license from Arkansas, you are still subject to this law as implied consent also applies to persons who are simply driving in the state.
The penalties in Arkansas for refusing a breathalyzer test on-scene vary depending upon your history with DUI and other circumstances surrounding your arrest. Simply refusing a breathalyzer test (or other sobriety test) does not mean that you no longer have to deal with the DUI charge. The police do not need direct evidence of your blood alcohol level in order to levy charges at you for driving drunk or taking your license away. In some cases, the ultimate penalty may be more severe if you refuse the sobriety test.
The smartest thing to do is not drink and drive, but if you are pulled over under suspicion for doing so it is important to know your legal rights.