Understanding Implied Consent Laws: What It Means, the Tests, and Consequences

If you have been researching whether you can refuse to submit to DUI tests or not, then you have probably heard the phrase "implied consent laws" being thrown around. Well, that phrase has far-reaching consequences that each driver should know.

What It Means

According to implied consent laws, driving is a privilege and not a right. As such, there are conditions you have to adhere to if you are to continue enjoying the privilege. One of these conditions is that you have to submit to DUI (driving under the influence) tests whenever and wherever a police officer has probable cause to suspect you of driving under the influence. The rationale is that you implicitly agreed to such conditions when registering and licensing your car.

The Applicable Tests

There are several tests that you may be subjected to in order to determine whether you are intoxicated and to which extent. Here are some of the standard DUI tests:

  • Breath – In this case, you are asked to blow into a breathalyzer that analyses the level of alcohol in your breath with the understanding that it represents the level of alcohol in your system.            
  • Urine test – The testing officer will ask for a sample of your urine that is then analyzed in the lab and the blood alcohol level noted.
  • Blood test – In this case, a sample of your blood is drawn and analyzed for its alcohol content in the lab.

In some states, you are allowed to choose which test you want to undergo, while in other states, the arresting officer has the authority to choose the test for you. Once the test has been chosen, you either undergo it at the nearest police station to your point of arrest or at an appointed medical facility.

The Consequences of Refusal

In many states, you may politely decline to take any of these tests, but you should also be ready for the consequences before doing that. In most cases, you will be immediately arrested for DUI after refusing a drug test, and it will be up to you to prove thereafter that you weren't intoxicated.  Also, many jurisdictions have standard penalties for drivers who don't obey implied consent laws. The most common penalty is an administrative license suspension that prohibits you from driving for a specified period.

Did you refuse a DUI test after getting arrested? You should know that doing so may complicate your defense, but it doesn't lead to an automatic conviction. Consult a DUI lawyer to help you craft a defense strategy for your charges. Visit http://dlplawyers.com/ for more information about what you can do.