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How do implied consent laws apply to DUI?

On Behalf of | Mar 16, 2022 | Criminal Law

Implied consent laws exist across the country. They apply in situations where a reasonable person could assume someone gave their consent to something, even if they do not have the consent in writing or in speech.

There are implied consent laws for the road, too. This includes the law that addresses DUI arrests and BAC tests, and why they serve as somewhat mandatory.

Implied consent laws for road use

FindLaw discusses where implied consent laws come in. Implied consent laws in this case refer to the use of public roads. By using a public road, you give your consent to BAC tests should an officer feel that they need to administer one to you.

Thus, you actually do not have a right to refuse a BAC test, including breath analysis tests or field sobriety tests. It can even include blood alcohol tests, which involve the invasive process of drawing blood for testing.

Penalties for refusal

An officer cannot physically force you to take these tests. However, if you insist on refusing, they must warn you by law of the penalties you could face. These penalties include a stronger sentence if you get convicted of a DUI crime, such as longer jail sentences or additional fines and fees.

It also includes a suspension of your license for up to a year, which is non-negotiable even if you end up avoiding a DUI conviction. On top of that, your refusal to take a test could end up interpreted as a sign of guilt anyway. On a whole, you have nothing to gain through refusing a test and everything to lose.