DUI investigations typically involve the officer requesting that the suspect take a breath, blood, or urine test to determine blood alcohol content (BAC) or the amount of drugs in the suspect’s system. This article gives an overview of what Kansas law says about DUI chemical testing.
Kansas DUI law specifies that any person who operates a vehicle within the state is deemed to have consented to DUI chemical testing. An officer who has reasonable grounds to believe a driver is under the influence and makes an arrest must request the driver submit to one or more DUI chemical tests—breath, blood, or urine.
However, the Kansas Supreme Court has said drivers generally have the right to refuse DUI testing and that an officer can force a driver to provide a breath, blood or urine test only with a warrant.
But this “right” to refuse isn’t exactly what it seems. Because drivers have the constitutional right to refuse testing, the state cannot criminalize test refusal. In other words, the state can’t charge you will a crime for refusing a DUI chemical test. However, the state is authorized to impose other penalties, including license suspension, restriction, revocation, evidentiary consequences, and license fees (see below).
Here are some of the possible repercussions of refusing DUI chemical testing in Kansas.
License suspension. Drivers who refuse a lawful request by an officer to take a breath, blood, or urine test face a one-year license suspension. Thereafter, the driver will be restricted for two to ten years to operate only a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device (IID). The suspension and IID requirement are separate from any criminal consequences resulting from a DUI conviction and can be imposed even if the DUI charge is ultimately dismissed.
Evidentiary uses. The fact that a driver refused to submit to testing can actually be used against them at trial. While refusal doesn’t exactly prove intoxication, prosecutors often argue a refusal is indicative that the person was trying to hide intoxication. So, even without a valid evidentiary test, a driver can still be found guilty of DUI.
Warrants. For drivers who refuse testing, officers have the option of obtaining a warrant to draw blood. Once police have a warrant, the driver no longer has a right to refuse testing; police can even do the blood draw by force if necessary.
If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence in Kansas, it’s a good idea to talk to a DUI lawyer. DUI law is complicated and the facts of each case are different. A qualified DUI attorney can tell you how the law applies to your case and help you decide on the best course of action.