When you receive a driver’s license, you also are agreeing to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test if you are ever stopped on suspicion of drunk driving. In most states, this is not explicitly spelled out for you when you get your driver’s license. Your agreement to this arrangement is implicit upon getting your license. It’s called “implied consent.” And if you refuse a DUI chemical test, it could result in a driver’s license suspension.
Each and every state has different implied consent laws. For example, if you have a California driver’s license but are driving in another state, your implied consent applies to the state where you were arrested, not the state where you got your license. So even if you have a license from a state with no implied consent laws, you are subject to the implied consent laws of the state in which you were arrested. This is why you should talk to a local DUI lawyer right away. A DUI attorney who practices in the area in which you were arrested will know how to combat local implied consent laws and will fight to preserve your driving rights, including working to help you avoid a license suspension.
If you refused to take a chemical test, you could be facing severe punishments unless you have a DUI attorney who is knowledgeable about the state’s implied consent laws.
When you are arrested for a DUI or DWI, you will face a court case and possible criminal charges. But because of implied consent laws, you also are subject to penalties from a state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, including a license suspension. Or, if this is not your first DUI, it could mean that instead of a license suspension, the DMV will actually revoke your license. Whatever agency is in charge of licensing in the state where you were arrested can act quickly on license suspensions. That’s why you need to consult a skilled DUI attorney immediately.
The intent of implied consent laws is to encourage you to submit to a chemical test. Failure to do so can subject you to many more punishments. Under implied consent, refusal to take a blood, breath, or urine test can result in a more severe DMV license suspension or sanction than if you had submitted to a test.
Implied consent laws can mean more than a license suspension, however. Implied consent laws also can mean criminal consequences. Many states allow your refusal to be admitted as evidence of consciousness of guilt, increasing your chances of getting convicted. Refusal to submit to a chemical test can also be used by the judge or jury in handing down more severe punishments, either as part of a conviction or as part of a plea bargain. Moreover, under implied consent, the very act of refusing a chemical test is itself a crime and you could be subject to punishments associated with breaking that law, regardless of the outcome of a DUI trial.
The particulars of implied consent laws vary by state. In most, however, a DMV license suspension or sanction is often done quickly. Act now, and contact a qualified DUI lawyer immediately. Don’t give up your chance to protect your rights, both in regards to license suspension and your court case. Find out what you can do about the charges against you, and whether implied consent will play a role in your defense.