(US law) Most people are ecstatic when they become old enough to get their license and drive on their own. It’s really a rite of passage for most people. Unfortunately for some individuals, our parents were all right: driving is a privilege; not a right. This is very important when it comes to driving under the influence and implied consent laws. Some people are unaware of implied consent laws as they pertain to DUI, and this can easily lead to serious consequences.
What are Implied Consent Laws?
Implied consent laws, in general, mean that a person has basically given their consent without actually having to give their consent. This can be related to many areas of the law (i.e. Good Samaritan laws), but it’s most often used in the context of drunk driving laws. As mentioned earlier, driving is a privilege, and most states treat it as such. This gives them the right to add conditions to licensing drivers.
Every state in America has some form of implied consent law in relation to DUIs. This means that by allowing the state to issue them a license, the person has implied that they consent to roadside sobriety tests and blood alcohol content (BAC) tests. This, in effect, ensures that an individual who is believed to be intoxicated behind the wheel has no right to refuse sobriety tests.
Penalties of Refusing a Breathalyzer Test
The main penalty related to refusing a breathalyzer is the loss of a person’s license. Many people believe that if they don’t take a blood alcohol test, they cannot lose their license to a DUI conviction. Unfortunately for those people, a license suspension is handled administratively through a state’s department of motor vehicles; not the legal system. This department will suspend a person’s license simply for refusing the sobriety test; this is true even if the DUI charges are dropped.
It’s also important to note that a DUI conviction can still be obtained without breathalyzer results. The bulk of the evidence against a person in a DUI case is the observations of law enforcement officials. Breathalyzer results are usually just the cherry on top. There are even areas in America where refusing a breathalyzer test is considered evidence of driving under the influence.
What To Do If Pulled Over For a DUI
The first thing that a person should do when pulled over for a DUI is to comply with the officer fully. Even if a cop had no right to pull an individual over in the first place, it is absolutely imperative to go along with the officer at the present time. Legal challenges to the traffic stop can be brought up effectively later, but at the time of the stop, resisting is just an easy way to get another charge.
Whether it’s a DUI Lawyer New Hampshire based firm or any other U.S. lawyer, all will agree when a person is pulled over under suspicion of DUI they should also agree to the breathalyzer. In most states, refusing a breathalyzer will result in a harsher license suspension than a flat out failure of the test. Courts will sometimes be lenient on a person who cooperates, but when an individual gives the officer a difficult time, there is little chance that they’ll be given any leeway.
If the traffic stop does result in an arrest, it is absolutely essential for a person to hire an attorney. A license suspension will result from the DUI arrest, but an attorney can file an appeal if done so in a timely manner (usually one week). Since this administrative hearing is only related to a state’s motor vehicle division, a person may be able to keep their license even after being convicted of a DUI. A skilled lawyer can also show reasons why a traffic stop was illegal or a breathalyzer device was inaccurate, and this can lead to dropped charges.
Getting a DUI is a serious matter. It can permanently restrict a person from certain jobs, make them lose their ability to drive to and from work and cause several other disastrous consequences. This makes it vital for a person to understand DUI and implied consent laws in their state. A simple understanding of these laws, however, isn’t quite enough to ensure a positive outcome. An attorney should be acquired for any criminal charge, and driving under the influence is definitely no exception.
Katie Hewatt has a close friend that is a former alcoholic who emphasizes the importance of complying with law enforcement if pulled over for drunk driving. Tenn And Tenn PA, a DUI Lawyer New Hampshire-based firm also reiterates the importance of complying with officers and not refusing a breathalyzer test. If you are arrested with DUI your license may potentially be suspended depending on how many offenses you have, although a DUI lawyer can successfully aid you in contesting these suspensions. Contact Tenn And Tenn, PA for a free DUI case evaluation.