Implied Consent: Know the Law on Alcohol and Drug Tests

There are lots of laws and regulations you need to be aware of as a driver. Let’s talk about one called “implied consent” and what exactly it means for you as a motorist. Because it’s the law.

What is Implied Consent?

So you’re driving around after having a couple of drinks (something you definitely shouldn’t be doing because it’s illegal and very dangerous) when you get pulled over by a police officer.

What is implied consent when you get pulled over by a police officer?
Uh oh.

You’ve got the best idea. You’ll just say no to the breathalyzer and then they can’t get you for drunk driving because there’s no proof you were drunk, right? Completely wrong. Let us tell you a little bit about alcohol and drug testing laws. 

Implied consent means that once you step foot inside a car and start it up as the driver, you are accepting an implied contract to take an alcohol or confirmatory drug test if a police officer thinks it’s necessary. It’s is implied acceptance of the law. It’s kind of like when people time travel into the past to change the future but they can’t change it cause the actions they’re creating in the past are already included in the future, you know?

because of implied consent you can't beat the system by backing out of a breathalyzer
Driving 88mph to refuse a sobriety test will not help.

Consent laws state that the police cannot force you to take a sobriety test unless you cause a serious collision, but a refusal of the test has it’s own set repercussions.

Penalties of Refusal

So what are the penalties of refusing to take an alcohol or drug test?

It doesn’t matter what your BAC (blood alcohol content) is or whether you’re intoxicated or not. You will be found guilty of violating “implied consent” and you can still be charged with a DUI, even without the breath test/blood test/urine test/chemical test, because you are under the law of implied contract.

The police officer will follow a set of mandatory guidelines and will give you a notice of proposed revocation or revoke your license and issue you a temporary permit in its place – bye bye, driving privilege.

Your license will be suspended for 180 days unless you request a court hearing first.

  • If you have previously been charged for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and you refuse an alcohol/drug test, the license suspension will be lengthened to two years.

All these sound super fun, right? Wrong-o. Basically, you can get all of the benefits of a DUI + some extras bonus things, like an immediately suspended license. What I’m trying to say is, don’t drive after drinking. It’s bad news for you and everyone around you. And you can’t escape your fate, even if you time travel.

Helen Mirren says you shouldn't drive drunk
Listen to Helen Mirren.