Wyoming DUI: Refusal to Take a Blood, Breath, or Urine Test

In Wyoming, if you get pulled over for a DUI (driving under the influence) and the officer asks you to take a blood, breath, or urine test, do you have to take one? What happens if you refuse?

Implied Consent

Wyoming law requires you to take a blood, breath, or urine test if you are arrested for a DUI. Wyoming’s “implied consent” law says that 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 or tests of your blood, breath, or urine for the purpose of determining your blood alcohol content (BAC).  The test or tests must be taken as soon as possible from when you were last driving and you have limited choice of which tests you take. If the officer asks you to take a blood or urine test, then you can choose one or the other. If the officer suspects you have been taking drugs, however, then you do not have a choice.

This law also applies even if you are not actually driving a car. In Wyoming, you could be arrested and asked to take a chemical test if you have actual physical control of a vehicle. Generally, drivers find themselves arrested for actual, physical control when they realize they’ve had too much to drink, pull over to sleep it off, and an officer finds them asleep (but smelling of alcohol) in the car. The state punishes this behavior as strictly as a DUI because of the driver’s potential to wake-up and drive while still drunk.

You can read Wyoming’s implied consent law in the Wyoming Statutes 6-31-102.

Refusing to Take the Test

 

1st Offense

2d Offense

3rd Offense

Refusal to take test

6 month license suspension

18 month license suspension

18 month license suspension

Once you are arrested, officer does not need to warn you of the penalties for refusal. The officer must tell you, however, that if you take a test and the results show that you have been drinking or taking drugs, then your license will be suspended for 90 days and you may need to install an ignition interlock device on your car. The officer must also tell you that you have the right to have additional tests taken by a medical professional of your choice, but you have to submit to the officer’s tests first.

In most situations, an officer cannot force you to take a test if you refuse to take it. The officer can force you to take a test only if you were involved in an accident where someone was seriously injured or killed. Also, if you were killed or become unconscious due to an accident, then the officer does not need to ask you before ordering a test.

The officer will suspend your license as soon as you refuse a test. In its place, the officer should give you a temporary permit that is good for 30 days. Within 20 days, you can request a hearing to challenge your suspension. If you do not request a hearing, or if you do but the court decides that the officer had probable cause to arrest you and that you refused a test, then your license could be suspended for the same amount of time as for a DUI, which ranges from 90 days to one year.

To read more about the length of suspensions, see the Wyoming Statutes 31-7-128 and 31-5-233.

Should You Refuse to Take a Mandatory DUI Test in Wyoming?

It usually does not help you to refuse to take a blood, breath, or urine test when you are arrested. For a first DUI in Wyoming, your license will be suspended for 90 days and you could face fines up to $750 dollars as well as six months in jail. This is more severe than a suspension of your license for refusal. Still, refusing the test does not guarantee that you won’t be convicted – you could be found guilty of a DUI even if your refusal means that the state does not have proof that your BAC was over.08%, the legal limit for those over 21. In fact, the prosecution can use your refusal against you by arguing that you refused the test because you knew that you were intoxicated and guilty of DUI.

Get Help With Your DUI

If you have been arrested on a DUI charge in Wyoming or any other state, get help from an experienced DUI attorney. Unlike other traffic related charges, which might be worth fighting without a lawyer, conviction for a DUI has serious consequences – especially if the incident involved injury to people or property, or if it’s your second or subsequent DUI. To avoid or reduce the consequences, your best bet is to find an attorney who is knowledgeable about your state’s laws and about how the system works in your county’s court.

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