Implied Consent Rights

Implied Consent Rights | Charlotte DWI Lawyers

When a person is arrested for DWI and is brought in to provide a breath sample, they must be provided with a notice of their implied consent rights in DWI cases.  These are to be read to the person by the chemical analyst, and the person must be given a copy to read for themselves.  A large copy of the implied consent notice is often posted on the wall.  There is also a copy of the rights form in Spanish.  A copy of the rights is posted below, as well as an explanation of why they are important.

  1. “You have been charged with an implied consent offense.  Under the implied-consent law, you can refuse any test, but your drivers license will be revoked for one year and you could be revoked for a longer period of time under certain circumstances, and an officer can compel you to be tested under other laws.
  2. The test results, or the fact of your refusal, will be admissible in evidence at trial.
  3. Your driving privilege will be revoked immediately for at least 30 days if you refuse any test or the test result is 0.08 or more, 0.04 or more if you were driving a commercial vehicle, or 0.01 or more if you are under the age of 21.
  4. After you are released, you may seek your own test in addition to this test.
  5. You may call an attorney for advice and select a witness to view the testing procedures remaining after the witness arrives, but the testing may not be delayed for these purposes longer than 30 minutes from the time you are notified of these rights even if you have not contacted an attorney or your witness has not arrived.”

In summary and in no particular order, here are the rights in DWI cases that the police must inform you of.  A person being tested has the right to have a person act as a witness to the test.  This is a safeguard that ensures several things.  It gives the person being charged a witness that can testify about their demeanor and behavior.  The witness can testify as to whether there was the scent of alcohol, whether the person’s speech was slurred, and if they were compliant with the officer’s requests.  The witness can also observe how the officer interacted with the machine, whether the machine was working, and whether the defendant attempted to provide a breath sample.  The waiting period of 30 minutes allows time for the witness to arrive at the facility.

A person who is being asked to submit to a breath test will be informed that they are going to be required to provide a breath sample.  If they refuse to provide a breath sample, they could have their license revoked for a period of at least one year.  They would not become eligible for a limited driving privilege for at least 6 months.  The results of the test, or the fact that the person refused to cooperate during the test, is admissible as evidence against the person in court.  After the person is released, they are free to try to get their own chemical analysis, that may contradict the test taken by the police.  The police also have to inform you that your driving privilege will be revoked immediately for 30 days if the person refuses to take the test, they have a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more, if they are in a commercial vehicle and they have a blood alcohol concentration of .04 or more, or if they are under 21 and have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.01.

Failure to inform a person of their rights both orally and in writing may result in the blood alcohol concentration being suppressed.  That means that the prosecutor may not be able to use the number against you in court.