What is the implied consent law?

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2021 | Firm News

It is important to understand the rules governing your conduct when you are behind the wheel. Did you know that every state in the Union has an implied consent law? Each state’s law is different, but they all exist.

The implied consent law in Missouri means that if you are operating a motor vehicle on any public road, you have automatically given your consent to chemical tests like breathalyzers. This means that there are consequences in Missouri if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test.

What happens if I refuse a chemical test?

If you refuse a breathalyzer test in Missouri, the officer will immediately take your license and the state will revoke it for one calendar year. You will get a temporary driving permit for 15 days. For this period of time, you can file a petition in Circuit Court regarding your refusal to submit to the test.

Essentially, this will trigger a hearing where the officer who was attempting to arrest you for DUI will then testify on his or her basis for doing so. The outcome of this depends heavily on your circumstances.

Can the state use my refusal to take a breathalyzer exam against me?

Yes. So long as you refuse the test after the police arrest you (and not before), then the state can use this as evidence against you in court during your potential trial. Often, they will try to argue that your refusal to submit is proof of your guilt. Again, the success of this gambit depends on mitigating circumstances regarding your arrest and your previous history of DWI.