Refusal to Take a Preliminary Breath Test
When a police officer stops a vehicle and believes the driver to be under the influence of alcohol the officer can ask the driver to take a preliminary breath test. This test involves the driver blowing into a portable device that measures the driver’s blood alcohol content. The results of the test can be used as the basis for the police officer to make an arrest for drunk driving.
Refusal to take this test is a civil infraction, punishable by a fine. For drivers of commercial motor vehicles, however, refusal to take the test is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 93 days in jail, a $100 fine, or both, and will result in the issuance of a 24 hour out-or-service order. Drivers under the age of 21 will receive 2 points on their driving record.
The police officer may still arrest the driver even without the results of the breath test where there is probable cause to believe the driver had been under the influence of alcohol.
Whether this preliminary test is taken or not, the arrested driver will then be asked to submit to a chemical test, usually a breath test, at the police station, and a whole new set of rules applies to that situation. See Refusal to Take a Chemical Test.