Implied Consent

“Implied consent  refers to consent that is inferred from signs, actions, or facts, or by inaction or silence” (Free Legal Dictionary). “Implied Consent happens when surrounding circumstances exist that would lead a reasonable person to believe that this consent had been given, although no direct, express, or explicit words of agreement had been uttered. For example, implied consent to a contract can be inferred when one person has been performing on the contract and the other person has accepted the first person’s performance without objecting or complaining” (Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary).

Example Sentence

A motorist with valid driver’s license has an implied consent for a sobriety and an alcohol test if asked by authorities after a traffic violation or irregular driving behavior.

Case Study

A motorist was observed by a deputy to be speeding. The deputy decided to follow the motorist and saw that the motorist ran a red light. The deputy asked the motorist to pull over and asked him to undergo a sobriety test which the motorist complied with. The motorist was also questioned on recent alcohol intake for which he replied that he consumed two glasses of wine during dinner. The deputy arrested the motorist for driving under the influence. Upon arrival at the sheriff’s office, the motorist was asked to undergo a chemical test which he refused. All motorists with valid driver’s license have implied consent for chemical tests if they are pulled over by a police officer for a traffic violation or suspected to be driving under the influence. These facts must be confirmed through a sobriety test.  In this case, the refusal for the chemical test lead to the suspension of the driver’s license.  Motorists can refused a field test, however; if the driver is already in the police station, refusal for chemical testing to determine blood alcohol level can result to one year suspension of driving license.

Other Important Information

Title 41-6a-520. Implied consent to chemical tests for alcohol or drug

Motorists must understand that when police officers pull over their car for unusual driving behavior (such as sudden stop and start, weaving in and out of traffic and use of excessive speed)they can request the driver take a sobriety test or alcohol test. Based on the findings or observation, the police officer can book the motorist in jail and request for further chemical test such as blood alcohol level test. If the driver refused this request, the police officer can recommend suspension of driving privilege.

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Personally reviewed by Attorney Ken Christensen

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