When it comes to driving, it can seem like there are tons of rules and regulations to follow — and it’s easy to forget about a lot of them, until it’s too late. If you drive a car on a regular basis but you don’t remember agreeing to something called “implied consent” when you received your license, you certainly aren’t alone.
That being said, you definitely did agree to an implied consent law no matter which state you live in, and there are a few important things you should remember about this rule:
- All 50 states have implied consent laws, and a driver agrees to these laws the moment he/she signs the paperwork to receive a driver’s license. These are essentially drunk driving laws, and they state that every driver gives the implied consent to perform field sobriety tests if a police officer suspects that the person is driving while intoxicated.
- Initial field tests usually involve walking in a straight line, standing on one leg, or simply answering questions without slurred speech. Implied consent laws also allow police officers to administer chemical tests to determine a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above the legal limit (.08%, or in cases where a zero tolerance law would apply, then any percentage of alcohol would warrant a DWI arrest). Officers are allowed to administer a breathalyzer test on the roadside, but the driver refuses to take the breathalyzer test or asks that another test be given, police officers have the right to bring the driver to a medical facility for a urine or blood draw test.
- Many drivers think that they can avoid being arrested for drunk driving by simply refusing to take all tests — but this definitely won’t work. Drivers can be arrested under the suspicion of driving under the influence, and after law enforcement officials obtain a warrant for a BAC test, the driver’s consent doesn’t matter.
Not only does it go on the driver’s record that he/she refused to take sobriety tests when asked — and technically broke the law by doing so — but courts don’t look favorably upon drivers who have refused to cooperate.
It’s never a good idea to get behind the wheel after drinking, but if you or someone you know has stumbled into this situation, it’s never too early to start looking for a drunk driving legal expert for advice.
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