The state of Idaho has a number of laws in place that govern how DUI stops and arrests are conducted, including those dealing with implied consent. These laws also define your rights as someone who has been stopped over suspicions of DUI. It is important to understand these laws in the event of a DUI charge. A good Boise DUI attorney will typically have these laws at their fingertips when creating an effective defense for you.
An important part of the laws that are relevant to DUI arrests is the concept of Implied Consent. Here is a look at what it is and how it relates to DUI cases.
What is Implied Consent?
In legal terms, implied consent is when your consent is inferred automatically if you act in a certain way. Under Idaho laws, for instance, you must agree to evidentiary testing when you are operating a vehicle on Idaho roads. In other words, if you drive in Idaho, you have provided your implied consent that you agree to a test for determining blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or any other form of impairment.
Due to this implied consent, you are legally and voluntarily required to submit to evidentiary testing during DUI when asked by a law enforcement officer. However, such testing is voluntary which means that you can also refuse it.
Can I Refuse DUI Testing?
Yes, you can. However, such a refusal is not without consequences. Idaho laws require you to submit to voluntary testing. So you have the option of refusing the test. But doing so is also in breach of the implied consent you provide as a driver in Idaho. This breach can lead to stiff penalties for mere refusal of evidentiary testing under Idaho Code Section 18-8002.
Penalties for Refusing DUI Testing
If you are asked by a law enforcement officer to take a breath test and you refuse, you face the following penalties:
- A $250 fine
- Mandatory license suspension for up to one year. It must be noted that such a suspension would be without privileges.
- Mandatory installation of ignition interlock devices on all the motor vehicles you may operate following the end of the license suspension period. You will have to bear all the related expenses.
After the Refusal
Another downside to refusing a DUI breath test is that it can’t prevent a DUI charge. If the police officer sufficiently believes that you are drunk, the officer may still administer a blood test to check you for BAC levels.
This test is also voluntary although if you refuse, the officer can obtain a warrant and then force you to submit a sample if you still refuse. The results of a blood test are also more definite and conclusive in contrast to breathalyzer test results which may sometimes be inaccurate.
Avoiding the Penalties of Refusal
There are situations where you may have clear reasons for having refused the breathalyzer test. This is why the law offers some ways of avoiding the penalties associated with the refusal.
You can typically apply to an Idaho court within 7 days of refusing BAC testing. At the court hearing, you can argue that the police officer had no cause to pull you over. You can also share if you had any other valid cause for the refusal.
If you were not eventually charged with a DUI, you may have great odds of having your refusal penalties waived. A good lawyer can also help you question the cause of the stop, the nature of the arrest, and other aspects of the formal charge to have the charge dismissed or significantly reduced.
It is important to note that the case for DUI charge, and the case in which you defend yourself for refusing BAC testing, are separate cases. You will need to appear at the hearings for both cases separately. And it is imperative that you retain a good lawyer for legal help.
How Can a Boise DUI Attorney Help You?
As noted above, refusing BAC testing during a DUI stop can lead to penalties. To avoid these penalties, and to also fight your DUI charge at the same time, you will need the help of a good Boise DUI attorney.
Here at the Hooper Law Offices, our attorneys have extensive experience in defending individuals charged with DUI. We can work with you to ensure that you have a solid and effective defense against the DUI charge. You can also explore all your legal options with our help. Get in touch with us now to discuss your case with our lawyers.