You’ve been pulled over under suspicion of DUI. You’re scared, and a million thoughts are racing through your mind. Law enforcement asks you to take a breathalyzer or PAS (preliminary alcohol screening) test. The decision you make has serious consequences.

In Ohio, you may believe that if you refuse to take the PAS test you can avoid a DUI conviction. However, declining to take a DUI test often leads to more legal troubles than submitting to a DUI test. A DUI arrest results in a 90-day driver’s license suspension, and a conviction will increase the suspension to six months. In addition, you could spend three days to six months in jail.

Length of driver’s license suspension for refusal

If you refuse to submit to the PAS test, law enforcement will immediately arrest you and suspend your driver’s license. The length of license suspension depends on your previous history. If you been in this situation before and have refused the PAS test multiple times, the penalties increase.

  • First refusal for PAS test: One year
  • Second refusal: Two years
  • Third refusal: Three years
  • Prior refusal and conviction: Ten years

To dispute the arrest and loss of license, you can file for an Ohio BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles) administrative hearing within 30 days of the arrest date. You face severe penalties if your arguments don’t convince the hearing board of your innocence. If you make a compelling case, the board may overturn the arrest and reinstate your driver’s license.

Final considerations

The PAS test can provide evidence of impaired driving, and the officer will arrest you. Refusing to take the PAS will immediately result in license suspension. Once under arrest, a law enforcement officer can obtain a warrant and force you to take a blood or urine test. In addition, a test refusal remains on your driving record for 20 years. You need to make a wise and prudent choice after a DUI traffic stop.