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What does implied consent mean for your DUI arrest?

| Feb 1, 2021 | criminal defense

Whether you work in town, on an oil rig far away or virtually anywhere else, you may have little choice but to drive to your place of employment. If a DUI conviction results in the loss of your driving privileges, you may also lose your job.

When officers suspect South Dakotans may have consumed too much alcohol before climbing behind the wheel, they often request a breath sample for chemical testing. Because of the state’s implied consent law, refusing to provide a breath sample may cause you to lose your driver’s license temporarily.

What is the implied consent law?

Officers must have either your express consent or a warrant to collect a blood sample from you.  Thanks to South Dakota’s implied consent law, breath samples are usually a different story. By simply driving on roadways in the state, you consent to chemical testing of your breath. This is likely true even if you verbally consent to it.

How do officers collect the sample?

Obviously, officers cannot legally hold you down and force you to breathe into a testing device. If you refuse to provide a breath sample, though, you face a one-year suspension of your driver’s license.

Does no breath sample mean no arrest?

Even if you do not give a breath sample, an officer may still arrest you for a DUI offense. That is, the officer may use your driving performance, failed field-sobriety tests or other factors as probable cause to support your arrest.

Ultimately, even though refusing to comply with South Dakota’s implied consent law may lead to your arrest, you may use all available defense tactics to try to beat a DUI charge and protect both your driving privileges and your job.