Code of the District of Columbia

§ 50–1911. Test refusal; evidence of refusal.

(a) If a person under arrest refuses to submit specimens for chemical testing as provided in § 50-1910(a), he or she shall be informed that failure or refusal to submit to chemical testing will result in his or her inability to operate a watercraft in the District of Columbia as provided in § 50-1912.

(b) If a person under arrest refuses to submit specimens for chemical testing as provided in § 50-1910(a), and the person has a prior offense under § 50-2206.31 or § 50-2206.32, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the person is under the influence of alcohol or a drug or any combination thereof.

(c) If a person under arrest refuses to submit specimens for chemical testing as provided in § 50-1910(a), evidence of such refusal shall be admissible in any civil or criminal proceeding arising as a result of the acts alleged to have been committed by the person before the arrest.

(d)(1) If a person under arrest refuses to submit specimens for chemical testing as provided in § 50-1910(a), and the person was involved in a collision that resulted in a fatality, except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a law enforcement officer may employ whatever means are reasonable to collect blood specimens from the person if the law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person was intoxicated or was under the influence of alcohol or of any drug or any combination thereof.

(2) If a person required to submit to blood collection under paragraph (1) of this subsection objects on valid religious or medical grounds, that person shall not be required to submit blood specimens but the law enforcement officer may employ whatever means are reasonable to collect breath or urine specimens from the person if the law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person was intoxicated or was under the influence of alcohol or of any drug or any combination thereof.


(Oct. 21, 1972, 86 Stat. 1017, Pub. L. 92-519, § 7d; as added Apr. 27, 2013, D.C. Law 19-266, § 101(e), 59 DCR 12957.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-266 added this section.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) addition of this section, see § 101(e) of the Comprehensive Impaired Driving and Alcohol Testing Program Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-3, January 29, 2013, 60 DCR 2762, 20 DCSTAT 410).

For temporary (90 days) addition of this section, see § 101(e) of the Comprehensive Impaired Driving and Alcohol Testing Program Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-51, April 17, 2013, 60 DCR 6344, 20 DCSTAT 1360).