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What does implied consent mean?

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2024 | DWI |

When pulled over by the police under suspicion of a DWI, under Texas law, the police can ask you to submit a chemical test. If you refuse the chemical test, the officer can impose penalties on you.

This regulation is the implied consent law.

Foundation of implied consent

Implied consent asserts that if you operate a motor vehicle, you inherently agree to undergo chemical testing if law enforcement suspects intoxication. Chemical testing refers to blood, breath and urine testing. If the officer pulls you over suspecting a DWI, he or she can request one or all three of the chemical tests. While you do not have to explicitly agree to implied consent, you must abide by it if you choose to drive on public roads.

Consequences for refusal of chemical testing

Under Texas law, if you refuse to undergo chemical testing, the state has the authority to impose penalties. While you have the right to refuse, it can result in the state suspending your license. When you refuse chemical testing, you essentially violate the implied consent agreement.

Implied and informed consent

Law enforcement officers must inform you of all the consequences associated with refusing a chemical test. In fact, he or she should inform you of all consequences prior to the request. Officers who do not inform the driver of his or her rights and the consequences of his or her choices may compromise the integrity of the charges. You should always know the ramifications before you make a decision.

Despite the implied consent law, drivers still have a right to challenge the legality of a traffic stop and to question the validity of the process. Implied consent does not mean that you have to accept a DWI charge.