Implied Consent Law
In Rhode Island, when you drive anywhere within the state you automatically agree to abide by certain laws. One of these laws is referred to as Implied Consent, which assumes that, as a driver in Rhode Island, you will consent to a blood, breathalyzer, or urine test if you are pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence. Refusing to consent to one of these tests may result in serious penalties.
The Purpose of Implied Consent
Implied consent laws were created to coerce drivers into taking a test that measures their blood alcohol content (BAC) to see if they meet the state’s legal BAC limit. Having a test result that confirms you were driving while drunk can be used as strong evidence against you in a DUI charge.
If an officer cannot get you to submit to a test, he or she may not have enough evidence against you to have you convicted of drunk driving. However, you may still be convicted of a DUI if the officer can otherwise convince the court that you were driving drunk. In this case you face the combined penalties of a DUI and the penalties of refusing to take the BAC test.
Penalties for Withdrawing Implied Consent
Rhode Island is one of 15 states that charges withdrawal of implied consent as a crime. If you do not submit to a test at the officer’s request, you will be charged with Refusal. Refusal carries the following possible penalties:
- Automatic suspension of driver’s license for 90 days and up to 1 year
- Monetary fines
- Community service hours
- Enrollment in a drunk driving course
- Enrollment in an alcohol treatment program
If you have been charged with Refusal and/or a DUI, contact a DUI defense lawyer immediately to begin preparing your case. Aggressive, experienced Rhode Island DUI lawyer Matthew Marin understands the severity of the charges you face and will fight to defend your rights in court. For sound legal advice and assistance, contact him today at 401-287-4384.