Refusing a Breathalyzer Test in Arkansas

Q.  Can I refuse to take a breathalyzer?

A.  Yes!  However, there are different consequences to refusing to take a breathalyzer, depending on the type of breathalyzer in question. Although you have the "right" to refuse a test, it may constitute the separate violation of "Refusal." A refusal to take a portable breath test ("PBT") does NOT constitute the crime of Refusal. The results of a PBT test are not even admissible in court due to the technology's inherent unreliability. 

However, Arkansas (and every other state) has an "implied consent" law that states that if you drive, you have "impliedly consented" to take a breathalyzer (or another chemical test, such as blood or urine, which are requested MUCH less frequently by officers). This refers to an evidentiary breathalyzer (in Arkansas, it is the Intoximeter EC/IR II). Although an officer cannot physically force you to take a breathalyzer or other chemical test (except with a search warrant issued by a judge), you will be charged with a Refusal to Submit to a Chemical Test if you refuse to take such a test.  To determine whether you should refuse or not, you must evaluate your own personal consequences, typically relating to the associated drivers license suspension that will likely result, if you take the test or if you refuse.