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Can drivers in Nevada refuse to submit to a breath test?

Most people in Nevada understand that driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal, and there can be serious consequences should they be convicted on a DUI charge. Sometimes drivers are pulled over by police while driving and will be asked to perform a breath test to determine what the person's blood alcohol concentration is. This can be an intimidating situation, and a person may wonder whether they are able to say "no" when asked to perform a breath test.

First, it is important to understand that part of the privilege of driving in Nevada comes "implied consent." This means that anyone who drives in the state will be deemed to have consented to taking a breath test at the request of a police officer to determine whether that driver is under the influence of alcohol. That being said, a driver does have the right to refuse to submit to a breath test. However, there are consequences for doing so.

Under Nevada Revised Statutes 484C.210, if a person refuses to submit to a breath test, that person's driver's license will be revoked for one year. However, the revocation rises to three years if the driver had had his or her license revoked in the past seven years for refusing to submit to a breath test when asked. Upon refusal, the officer is permitted to seize the person's driver's license and place the person under arrest, if reasonable grounds exist, in order to transport the person to a convenient place where another test can be administered.

So, while it is possible to refuse to submit to a breath test, a person in Nevada will have to weigh the consequences for refusing with the consequences of not refusing. Of course, when asked to submit to a breath test, a person might be in a high-pressure situation. It may help to discuss the situation with a criminal defense attorney.

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