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Implied Consent Jacksonville FL

The principles of "implied consent" with regard to DUI laws can be difficult to fully understand. However, if you are facing DUI charges it is imperative you understand this concept. Implied consent directly affects your rights in such a way that may help you avoid being arrested for drunk driving, or additional DUI-related penalties if arrested and convicted. Many people have unknowingly given up certain rights, placing them at risk for being charged with a DUI because they are not fully educated on what implied consent means.

Implied consent means that because you have been issued a driver's license (which is considered a "privilege" not a right) you understand or implicitly consent - without the need to directly say so - to submit to tests that will determine if you have violated Florida's traffic laws or not, by drinking and driving. If it can be proven that you have violated the law, with suspected drunk driving, the privilege to drive may be withdrawn.

The tests you are expected to take are in the form of chemical blood alcohol content (BAC) tests that are conducted on blood or breath for DUI-related suspicions or urine samples for drug-related offenses to determine the level of substance in the blood.

There are a few rules governing a chemical BAC test that must be followed for the test to be considered valid and used as evidence against you in a DUI case:

  • You must be under arrest to be asked to take a chemical BAC test.
  • The police must advise you that if you do not take a test your license will be suspended by the DMV for 1 year.
  • The officer has three hours within the time of the stop to issue you a chemical BAC test.
  • You do not have a right to an attorney prior to a chemical test.
  • An inability to complete a test is interpreted to be a failure.

Be advised: Your implied consent refers to chemical BAC tests only and these can only be conducted after a lawful arrest as in the case of a DUI has been made. If no arrest has been made then you are not required to take a BAC test. Therefore, contrary to what popular belief may exist, you have not implied consent to preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) tests conducted at the roadside before an arrest. If you are over the age of 21 or not on parole, you have the right to refuse such tests.

Although you have the right to refuse a BAC test regardless of implied consent, it is not advised to do this, especially if you have consumed limited amounts of alcohol. With a reputable DUI defense attorney such as Casey Bryant, you can fight a DUI charge even if you fail a chemical BAC test. However, if you are convicted of a DUI, the refusal to submit to a chemical BAC test results in automatic and additional DUI penalties.

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