Can I refuse a chemical test in a DUI arrest?

Posted on June 19, 2015

Mario Massillamany

Mario Massillamany

Mario Massillamany is an Indiana criminal law attorney that has handled thousands of DUI/DWI/OWIs as both a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney.

In the State of Indiana, driving is considered a privilege not a right, and your license is going to be treated as such. By obtaining an Indiana driver’s license and placing your signature on the license, you are agreeing to adhere to Indiana’s implied consent law.

Under Indiana Code 9-30-6-1, Indiana’s Implied Consent Law states if you are lawfully arrested by an officer who has probable cause to believe that you have been driving under the influence, then you consent to taking a chemical test of your blood, breath, or urine for the purpose of determining your blood alcohol content (BAC). The chemical test must be administered within three hours of operating the motored vehicle; otherwise, the attorneys at Massillamany & Jeter LLP will file a motion to have the test results kept out of evidence.

These tests are offered either roadside or at a detention center. In some jurisdictions, the breath test would be administered roadside, whereas the urine and blood test will always be administered at a detention center or a medical center. An officer can require you to take multiple chemical blood, breath, or urine tests. If you do not abide by his/her request to all of them, it is deemed a refusal.

What are the consequences of refusing a chemical test? If this is your first offense and you refuse a chemical test, your license will be suspended by the Court for one year. If you have a prior conviction for DUI/DWI/OWI, you are facing a two year license suspension. Remember, these license suspensions are in addition to the one imposed by the Court for a DUI/DWI/OWI conviction stemming from the arrest. Furthermore, under the new Indiana Specialized Driver’s Permit law, if you refuse a chemical test, you are not eligible for this “hardship” license.

In Hamilton County and the surrounding counties, if you refuse the breath test, officers will obtain a search warrant and restrain you so that a nurse can draw your blood. The officer will then submit the blood to the Indiana Department of Toxicology so that they can test the BAC. Many times, the prosecutor handling your case will not offer favorable plea offers due to a refusal.

When driving please be safe and if you are going to be drinking, then have a designated driver or find alternate transportation. However if you or someone you know has been pulled over or convicted of a DUI/DWI/OWI, then please contact an attorney at Massillamany & Jeter LLP for a free consultation so that you can understand your rights.

Mario Massillamany is a founding partner of the law firm of Massillamany & Jeter LLP and serves as Team Leader for the firm’s Criminal Law Practice Area. For more information on this topic, please contact Mr. Massillamany at (317) 432-3443 or by e-mail at:

This article is not intended to serve as legal advice. Should you have questions about this topic, you should consult with a licensed lawyer.


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