Thomas Carroll Blauvelt

What is implied consent in a DWI?

You may feel nervous or intimidated if the police stop you while driving. It can make it hard to think straight, and you could make costly errors.

Understanding what to do and what not to do in the event of a police stop is essential. It prevents turning a minor problem into a major one. One area many people worsen their situation is failing to understand implied consent.

If you get behind the wheel, the law considers you have given your consent to tests

Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs are more likely to cause an accident. As part of the attempt to stamp this out, New Jersey law places a condition on anyone who takes charge of a motor vehicle. They consider that you give consent for the police to test you for drugs or alcohol. It applies to breath tests, urine tests and blood tests.

You can still refuse to take the tests, but that will carry an automatic penalty. You will have to pay a fine and give up your license for at least seven months, regardless of whether a court finds you guilty of driving while intoxicated (DWI).

Implied consent does not cover field sobriety tests such as walking the line or standing on one leg. There is no automatic penalty if you refuse a field sobriety test. Yet, the judge may consider your refusal to mean you were trying to hide something.

If the police ask you to take a breath, urine or blood test, it is best to comply. Once the incident is over, you can get legal help to challenge the results of a positive test or the legality of the police stop.

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