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What is implied consent?

On Behalf of | Sep 28, 2023 | DUI/DWI Defense

When it comes to driving under the influence, there is an important principle known as implied consent.

This principle essentially means that if you operate a vehicle on Charlotte County roads, you have already given your consent to chemical testing for alcohol or drugs if you are lawfully arrested for a DUI offense.

Implied consent in action

Implied consent is not unique to Florida. Many states across the United States have similar laws. The idea behind implied consent is straightforward. By choosing to drive on public roads, you are accepting the responsibility to abide by the rules and regulations governing driving, including those related to DUI.

Consequences of refusing a chemical test

If pulled over by law enforcement and they have a reasonable suspicion that you are driving under the influence, they may arrest you. Upon your arrest, you must legally submit to a chemical test, typically a breath test or blood test, to determine your blood alcohol concentration or the presence of controlled substances.

If you refuse to take a chemical test when lawfully arrested for DUI, you may face a driver’s license suspension for a period ranging from one year to 18 months, depending on previous refusals. Moreover, prosecutors can use your refusal of a chemical test against you in court, potentially strengthening their case.

Implied consent serves as a deterrent, encouraging individuals to think twice before driving under the influence, but mistakes happen. In 2020, Charlotte County law enforcement arrested 1,657 people for a crime against society, which DUIs fall under.