As a driver, do you understand what “implied consent” means?

On Behalf of | Jan 3, 2019 | Firm News

Every state, including New Hampshire, has an implied consent law. You agree to abide by this law as soon as you apply for a driver’s license.

Implied consent comes into play if a law enforcement officer arrests you on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. Do you know what this means?

About the implied consent law

When you have a New Hampshire driver’s license, you automatically consent to comply with requests for chemical testing if law enforcement stops you on suspicion of DUI/DWI. Chemical testing consists of breath, blood or urine test to determine your blood alcohol content level. The law goes into effect if your BAC is 0.08 percent or higher, or if you refuse to take a chemical test. The implied consent law also contains other requirements:

  •         When requested, you must present your driver’s license and proof of vehicle insurance.
  •         You must perform field sobriety tests if asked to do so.

The meaning of “per se intoxication”

This term refers to your arrest if you decline to take a chemical test even though a law enforcement officer has “probable cause” to believe you were driving while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol. He or she may stop you for one of several reasons, including driving without headlights, making an illegal turn or because you were weaving. The officer cannot pull you over for no reason at all, but can do so if you appear to be a danger to yourself or others. Additionally, the officer can arrest you if you cannot produce your license or proof of insurance.

Protecting your rights

An arrest for DUI/DWI can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if it is your first offense. Remember, you have rights. Explore your legal options. Next steps may include an investigation into the circumstances surrounding your arrest and the gathering of evidence that can help in your defense. You may not know much about the intricacies of New Hampshire law, but once arrested, you will learn a great deal about implied consent.