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What Is Implied Consent?

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What Is Implied Consent?

Implied consent laws vary by state, but the setup is the same: Your agreement to submit to these tests was implicit – or implied – when you signed papers to get your driver’s license. The laws you are subjected to are those of the state in which you were arrested, not the state where you obtained your driver’s license.

The Reasoning Behind Implied Consent

These laws are vigorously objected to by most criminal defense attorneys on the basis that every person needs an automobile to lead a productive, normal life. The thinking behind implied consent laws is that driving is a privilege, not a right, and that law enforcement officials have the responsibility to determine if you are a danger to the public.

Defense attorneys also argue that you are subjected to criminal action for your DUI as well as license suspension, known as double jeopardy. However, because the license suspension is an administrative action by the DMV rather than a criminal issue, double jeopardy does not distinctly apply.

Other Consequences Of Refusing A Breath Test

In most states a driver with a BAC above the state limit or a driver who refuses chemical testing for intoxication will have his or her driver’s license immediately suspended. The driver’s vehicle may also be confiscated or impounded, incurring significant costs to the driver.

A restricted license may be obtained by a driver who loses his or her license. This allows travel to specific destinations such as work and school.

An administrative hearing must be set within ten business days of the driver’s arrest in order to appeal the suspension or request a restricted license.

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States/Abbreviations
AK Alaska LA Louisiana OH Ohio
AL Alabama MA Massachusetts OK Oklahoma
AR Arkansas MD Maryland OR Oregon
AZ Arizona ME Maine PA Pennsylvania
CA California MI Michigan RI Rhode Island
CO Colorado MN Minnesota SC South Carolina
CT Connecticut MO Missouri SD South Dakota
DE Delaware MS Mississippi TN Tennessee
FL Florida MT Montana TX Texas
GA Georgia NC North Carolina UT Utah
HI Hawaii ND North Dakota VT Vermont
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ID Idaho NH New Hampshire WA Washington State
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IN Indiana NM New Mexico WV West Virginia
KS Kansas NV Nevada WY Wyoming
KY Kentucky NY New York DC Washington DC