Friday, May 18, 2012

Kansas House votes to criminalize refusal of DUI tests

Posted By on Fri, May 18, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Kansas DUI suspects might have one fewer defense options soon.
  • Kansas DUI suspects might have one fewer defense option soon.
The Kansas House passed a bill yesterday that would make it a crime for DUI suspects to refuse blood and breath tests. The Senate passed a similar bill earlier in the session. Drivers who refuse tests will be guilty of a misdemeanor and face the same criminal penalties that a DUI conviction carries.

Lawmakers voted 103-13 to pass the bill. The Wichita Eagle reports that a few representatives voiced concerns over law-enforcement agencies' new reach. Rep. Sean Gatewood (D-Topeka) argued that the bill infringed on citizens' right to remain silent. "These are American citizens, and they have the right to remain silent, which this bill sort of tramples on, because if you just stand there silent ... then you're a criminal," he said, according to the paper.

Bill supporters argued that DUI refusals slow court dockets and drain police resources. The bill now goes to Gov. Sam Brownback.

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