All states have what is known as an implied consent law, which requires motorists to submit to chemical testing when police officers have reason to believe that they are operating their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Drunk driving suspects in most states face mandatory driver’s license suspensions when they refuse to provide breath, blood or urine samples for chemical analysis, but drivers in Louisiana can sometimes be charged be charged with a crime.
Jail time and a fine
Refusing to submit to DUI testing is a crime in Louisiana when drunk driving suspects are involved in an accident that causes serious injury or death or have refused to provide a breath, blood or urine sample on two prior occasions. The penalties for refusing to submit to chemical testing in these situations is a jail sentence of between 10 days and six months and a fine of between $300 and $1,000. These penalties may be reduced if the offender is placed on probation and attends substance abuse and driver improvement sessions.
Drivers sometimes refuse to submit to DUI testing because they believe that doing so will help their criminal defense strategy and deprive police and prosecutors of vital evidence. However, this is rarely the case because police officers who have good reason to believe that a motorist is impaired by alcohol or drugs can simply obtain a search warrant to draw their blood.
A driver who refuses to submit to a breath, blood or urine test may avoid facing penalties if the police officer involved failed to warn them about the consequences of refusal or had no reasonable suspicion to initiate a traffic stop. Police officers violate the Fourth Amendment when they pull motorists over for no good reason, and any evidence they gather as the result of an illegal traffic stop is excluded under the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine.