What Is Implied Consent

Implied consent is a legal term that is defined as an agreement that is inferred from signs, actions, or facts. It can also be inferred by inaction or silence. The term is very broad and widely applicable when dealing with criminal law. As an example in the broadest sense, when a citizen chooses to live in a country, he or she is giving an implied consent to abide by the laws of that country. Failing to follow the laws set forth by the government can result in fines, jail time, and other punishments. You never signed a paper or made any verbal statement about following the laws of a given country or state, but you are required to follow them.

A more specific example would involve the implied consent laws surrounding the administration of first aid. If a person has hurt himself and is in risk of injury or death, they have the right to turn down any medical assistance offered to them by the general public or a medical health professional. However, if that person is unconscious or otherwise unresponsive, paramedics, first responders, and passersby are allowed by law to assume implied consent to provide first aid and treatment.

The best known form of implied consent involves laws related to drunk driving. Many states have an implied consent law that states that drivers implicitly agree to be subjected to a test by a law enforcement official to determine whether or not they are under the influence of alcohol. This means that if an officer requests that you take a breath, blood and/or urine analysis tests, you are required to do so under the penalty of law. In most states that have implied consent laws, not doing so means revoking your license if an officer pulls someone over, asks them to take a breathalyzer test and they refuse, the officer is allowed to take that persons license on the spot.

Officers are not, however, allowed to ask anyone to take a blood, urine, or breath test arbitrarily they must have a reasonable cause to ask someone to do so. This means that someone must be visibly intoxicated or somehow be showing signs of intoxication before the test is given. Additionally, drivers have opportunities to get their licenses back if they believe they were taken wrongfully. If a driver acts quickly, a court dates may be scheduled within a short time frame to have a hearing about the license revocation.

There are a lot of people who don't agree with the implied consent rule. However, since so many people still choose to drive while under the influence of alcohol, it is a rule that is necessary. If you are deemed responsible enough to drive a car, then you should be able to be responsible enough to refrain from driving if you have been drinking. However, you should remember that there are certain limitations. In most states, you are allowed to have a certain level of alcohol in your blood. Usually, the blood alcohol level cannot exceed 0.08, so, if you have not been drinking or only had one beer, you should have no problem consenting to this test.

You have a right to refuse to take a blood, urine, or breath test when you are pulled over, however, you should understand that this can in fact put you in more legal trouble than if you were to take the test and it proved that you were intoxicated. You can have your license suspended for refusal to take the test on top of being charged with impaired driving, so it is advisable to cooperate with the officer. Most roadside tests are simple breath tests. These are usually done with a breathalyzer and only take a few seconds.


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