Implied Consent Violation

Persons charged with a DUI/DWI may also be charged with an Implied Consent Violation if they refuse to submit to a blood or breath test to determine the person’s blood alcohol content. The officer, not the driver, chooses which of the 2 tests to administer. After submitting to the chemical test of the officer’s choice, the driver may then request an independent test of his or her choice, even though the officer need only provide very limited assistance in obtaining the independent test.  A motorist does not have a right to speak with a DUI lawyer in Tennessee before choosing whether or not to submit to a chemical test.

The Tennessee Implied Consent Statute (Tennessee Code Annotated § 55-10-406) deems that any person who drives a motor vehicle in Tennessee has given consent to a chemical test (blood or breath) to determine the drug or alcohol content of the person’s blood. Such test may be requested if a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that the person is driving under the influence. In certain instances, a motorist can be forced to submit to the chemical test.  When the test is not mandatory, a motorist does have a right to refuse to submit to a chemical test; however, such refusal normally results in the revocation of the person’s driver’s license. It is important to note that even if a person wins the DUI case, he or she may still lose the Implied Consent case, resulting in loss of license.

Implied Consent Violation Penalties

The penalties for an Implied Consent Violation will vary in each case, depending on the facts and circumstances. This summary is intended to be general in nature; therefore, this information should not be relied upon without individual consultation with a well-qualified Tennessee DUI lawyer.

Categories of Penalties for Refusing a Chemical Test (blood test or breath test):

No prior Conviction(s)

Offense CategoryNot Criminal
Probationary PeriodNone
License Revocation1 Year
Jail TimeNone
FineNone
Eligible for a Restricted License?Possibly, if the driver is otherwise eligible.

Prior Conviction(s) or One of the Following: Driving Under the Influence (DUI), Vehicular Homicide by Intoxication; Aggravated Vehicular Assault; Vehicular Assault by Intoxication

Offense CategoryNot Criminal
Probationary PeriodNone
License Revocation2 Years
Jail TimeNone
FineNone
Eligible for a Restricted License?Possibly, if the driver is otherwise eligible.

Involved in an Accident in which One or More Persons Suffered Serious Bodily Injury

Offense CategoryNot Criminal
Probationary PeriodNone
License Revocation2 Years
Jail TimeNone
FineNone
Eligible for a Restricted License?Possibly, if the driver is otherwise eligible.

Involved in an Accident in which One or More Persons are Killed

Offense CategoryNot Criminal
Probationary PeriodNone
License Revocation5 Years
Jail TimeNone
FineNone
Eligible for a Restricted License?Possibly, if the driver is otherwise eligible.

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