If you read the headline to this post and wondered what ”implied consent” is, don’t feel bad because you are definitely not the only person in Arkansas who doesn’t know. The purpose of this post is to provide basic information regarding state laws that are relevant to you if the police arrest you for suspected drunk driving. Whether you were aware of it at the time or not, when you signed your driver’s license, you agreed to certain DUI regulations.
Implied consent means just that — that you implied consent, rather than verbally offered it. In this case, the implication took effect when you signed your Arkansas driver’s license. The primary focus of implied consent rules is a Breathalyzer test. In short, if a police officer instructs you to take this test after your arrest for DUI, and you refuse, certain things will automatically happen.
You will not be allowed to drive for 180 days
In Arkansas, refusing to take a Breathalyzer test after police take you into custody for suspected DUI activates an automatic suspension of your driver’s license for 180 days. That is basically three whole months. If you normally drive to and from work or drive your kids to school, etc., you would no longer be able to do this until the court lifts your driver’s license suspension.
Implied consent pertains to other chemical tests as well
If a police officer asks you to take a test while you are in custody for suspected drunk driving, the test in question might not necessarily be a Breathalyzer test. An officer might also ask you to submit a urine or blood sample. Refusing to take a chemical test, such as urine and blood samples, falls under implied consent rules.
You are waiving your right to consult with an attorney ahead of time
If an Arkansas police officer has arrested you and claimed that he or she had probable cause to take you into custody for suspected DUI, and he or she has asked you to take a Breathalyzer or chemical test, your first thought might be that you wish to speak with an attorney. Under implied consent statutes, you have waived your right to consult an attorney before deciding whether or not to take the test or refusing.
A refusal constitutes admissible evidence in court
If you wind up facing DUI charges in court and you have refused to take a Breathalyzer or chemical test after your arrest, your refusal is evidence to try to incriminate you for intoxicated driving. The court may consider your refusal an implication of guilt.
You have a lot at stake when arrested for suspected drunk driving, including your driver’s license and, possibly, your freedom. As in all criminal cases, however, the court must allow you to present a defense. You may also enlist support from legal counsel to choose defense options that best fit your circumstances.