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What is implied consent and how does it apply to DUI arrests?

Implied consent applies when consent is not directly given, but implicitly conceded by circumstances or actions. This means you consented to the possibility of being required to take a breathalyzer when you got behind the wheel.

Is it a requirement?

If you are arrested for a DUI you are required to take a breath or blood test to verify your blood alcohol content (BAC). A urine sample is required if you are suspected of being under the influence of drugs. The test can be forced if you are injured or caused injury to another person, and in extreme cases can be administered even if you are unconscious or dead.

What happens if you refuse?

If you refuse, you automatically lose your license for a minimum of one year, and longer terms apply for second and additional offenses. Not only will you lose your license, you could also face mandatory treatment or counseling for drug or alcohol abuse. This is expensive, and you have to foot the bill for any treatment.

Suspended license exceptions

There are instances when you would be allowed to keep driving with a suspended license. An ignition interlock device (IID) has to be installed in your vehicle. In order to start your car you have to breathe into it to check your BAC. During your drive it will periodically ask you to breathe into the machine again, functioning as an instant breathalyzer. Device installation costs range from $50-$200 with a monthly leasing expense and the possibility of calibration fees. Many repair shops offer the service but they need to be certified for IID installation.

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Rustam A. Barbee, Attorney at Law
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