Refusing Testing No Longer A Crime In Kansas
Drivers in Kansas have long been under the rule of a strict law which made it a crime to refuse to submit to a DUI blood test. This was true even if the person who refused was not accused of any DUI offense. Initial refusal was classified as a misdemeanor, though repeated refusal could have resulted in a felony charge.
Those in Kansas who felt that this law was either too harsh or unconstitutional were supported by their state’s Supreme Court. Earlier this year they ruled 6-1 that DUI tests were a search, and that forcing people to take them was an unreasonable search and seizure. Before this decision, the law stated that anyone operating a vehicle had given “implied consent” to this type of search.
Not so, the Court said, as it believed that implied consent was not irreversible. Punishing people for withdrawing their consent is unconstitutional, the court argued, stating: “Once a suspect withdraws consent, whether it be express consent or implied (under the statute), a search based on that consent cannot proceed.”
This ruling doesn’t change the still rather hard stance that Kansas takes on DUI offenders. Our illegal blood alcohol levels (BAC) are among the lowest in the nation, with a BAC of just 0.02 percent being illegal in those under 21, while those 21 or over can be arrested for a BAC of just 0.08 percent.
First time offense penalties are also punishing: you may lose your license for one year, have to pay for the installation and upkeep of a Ignition Interlock Device for two years and pay a license reinstatement fee of $600.
These harsh penalties make it really inadvisable to drink and drive under any circumstances. Even if you no longer have to worry about mandatory BAC tests, you may still end up getting in major trouble.
If you or someone you love is suffering from the penalties of a DUI case, please don’t hesitate to contact us as soon as possible to get the legal help you need to protect your rights.