Reminder: DUI Refusal of Breath Test Now a Crime in Kansas*

* On February 27, 2016 the Kansas Supreme Court declared this law unconstitutional, you cannot currently be charged with the separate crime of DUI Test Refusal in Kansas, I am leaving the blog post up for informational purposes. If you were charged under the old law which was in effect from 7/1/12 until 2/27/16 and still have a case pending or at warrant status/ unresolved in the State of Kansas you may want to consult with a DUI lawyer or Criminal Defense Attorney and have the charge dismissed.

Effective July 1st, 2012, it became a chargeable crime in Kansas for drivers suspected of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs to refuse to take a blood or breath alcohol test *. This means that if you are arrested, taken into custody and asked to blow into the Intoxilyzer 8000, you must submit a sample, or you can be criminally charged with refusing to take the Breathalyzer. Note: this provision does not apply to refusing the Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) which is typically administered in the field with a small portable device. Refusing the PBT will result in a traffic ticket, and you have every right to refuse to take it. The new laws apply only to refusing to submit to take a breath test at the station.

A Conviction for a First Time Refusal is a Class A Misdemeanor, with jail time ranging from ninety days to one year, however probation can be granted after five days have been served, and Work Release or House Arrest is an option after two days have been served in jail. Fines for a first offense range from $1250.00 to $1750.00, plus court costs.

Driving Privileges: A Conviction for a First Time Refusal will result in a one-year suspension of your Kansas Driving Privileges, followed by a requirement of two years of maintaining an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. Note: Drivers can apply for Restricted Driving Privileges after ninety days have passed; this requires installation of an ignition interlock, but is at least an alternative to not having any Driving Privileges for a full year.

A Conviction for a Second Time Refusal is also a Class A Misdemeanor , with jail time ranging from ninety days to one year. If there is a prior Refusal, DUI Conviction, or Diversion within the previous ten years, the charge is upgraded to a Felony. Again, Work Release and House Arrest are an option after two days have been served in jail. Fines range from $1750.00 to $2500.00 plus court costs.

Driving Privileges: A Conviction for a Second Time Refusal will result in a one-year suspension of Kansas Driving Privileges followed by three years of driving with an ignition interlock device. Again, you can apply for restricted driving privileges after ninety days of the initial one year suspension.

A Conviction for a Third or Subsequent Test Refusal is a Felony and the range of punishment is from ninety days to one year in jail. House Arrest or Work Release may be considered only after three days have been served. The fine is $2500.00. Driving Privileges will be suspended for one year, followed by four years of ignition interlock. Restricted Driving Privileges can be granted after ninety days with the installation of ignition interlock.

* The New Laws do not apply if you refuse the breath or blood test and have no prior DUI Arrests, DUI Convictions, DUI Diversions, or prior Refusals. However, while a First-Time Refusal is not a criminal offense, it may result in the administrative suspension of your Kansas Driving Privileges for one year, followed by one year of Ignition Interlock.

DUI Laws are complex, confusing, and changing constantly. Contact our Office today for a Consultation or submit a Free Case Evaluation Form on our website today.

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