Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What is implied consent?

 When pulled over for a traffic stop, one of the things a police officer will tell you is that you need to submit to field sobriety tests and some form of chemical testing, either a breathalyzer or a blood draw. As a result of you driving a vehicle on Idaho roads with an Idaho driver's license (or an out of state license), you have given your implied consent to submit to the testing requested by the police officer.

Idaho courts have stated that "any person who drives or is in actual physical control of a vehicle [has given their implied consent to] evidentiary testing for alcohol at the request of a peace officer with reasonable grounds for suspicion of DUI. Implied consent to evidentiary testing is not limited to a breathalyzer test, but may also include testing the suspect's blood or urine. The evidentiary test to be employed is of the officer's choosing." State v. Diaz, 144 Idaho 300, 160 P.3d 739 (Idaho 2007).

How does this affect you when you are pulled over for an Idaho DUI traffic stop? First, because you were driving, you have given your implied consent to be tested for DUI. This does not mean that they can force you to complete the evidentiary testing. You can respectfully and politely decline to do the testing. However, if you do decline, odds are they will require a forced blood draw, which has been held as valid by the Idaho Supreme Court. State v. Diaz, 144 Idaho 300, 160 P.3d 739 (Idaho 2007). Also, if you refuse to complete the testing the officer may cite you for a refusal, which could result in a one year suspension of your driver's license.

Another thing, you do not have the right to an attorney prior to taking the evidentiary tests.

So what is the best course of action? If you are confident you blood alcohol content is under the legal limit, take the tests. If you believe that you are under the influence, you can refuse the field sobriety tests and the breathalyzer, but if you do, you probably will be forced to give a blood sample. You will also be cited for a refusal which may result in a one-year suspension of your Idaho driver's license.

To develop a personalized DUI Defense Strategy contact Mark Petersen, a Pocatello Idaho DUI Lawyer with Snake River Law PLLC by email or by calling 208.406.9885. Mention "idahoduilawyer.blogspot" and get your DUI Defense Strategy session, a $400.00 value, for free.