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What happens if I refuse a blood alcohol test in Kentucky?

In July we shared a post about the basics of Kentucky DUI laws. This post is a follow-up to that earlier post, and covers a related question about whether it is possible or advisable to refuse to take a blood alcohol test.

Kentucky law considers blood tests to be the most accurate indicator of whether someone meets the legal standard for being DUI.

Human nature being what it is, it may be tempting for some to want to decline a breath test or a blood test. However, Kentucky laws are written so that giving in to that temptation is also likely a mistake. This is for at least two reasons:

First, Kentucky is an "implied consent" state. What this means is that if you refuse to take a breath or blood test to determine if you are intoxicated while in control of a vehicle, you can be penalized for that refusal. The first time you refuse a test, your license can be suspended from 30 to 120 days. Each subsequent a refusal can result in a longer suspension of your license, up to five years.

Second, a blood or breath alcohol test to determine blood alcohol concentration is not required to prove a charge of drunk driving. There are other ways to prove it, and if it is proven then the penalty for refusing the implied consent above is not in lieu of, but in addition to any sentence you may receive for drunk driving.

This post is not an exhaustive examination of implied consent law in Kentucky, and cannot cover every conceivable situation that one may encounter with respect to that law. Accordingly, you should read it for general information only, and consult an attorney who understands the laws surrounding drunk driving for your specific questions.

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Michael J. Thompson, Attorney at Law

16360 Fort Campbell Blvd.
Oak Grove, KY 42262
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Phone: 270-605-0441
Toll Free: 866-397-7788
Fax: 270-439-1177

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