Drivers who consume alcohol before getting behind the wheel of their cars can pose a threat to others on the roads, as they may not be in control of their actions. For this reason, Tennessee and the other 49 states in the nation have created drunk driving laws that are intended to deter individuals from climbing behind the wheel while intoxicated and to punish individuals who are believed to be under the influence while driving. This post will look at one of the state's most important drunk driving laws: implied consent.
By obtaining a driver's license in the state of Tennessee, motorists have given implied consent to be subjected to blood alcohol testing if they are stopped and suspected of driving while drunk. The refusal of a driver to submit to this testing will usually result in a negative impact on his or her driving privileges, as their license can be suspended for doing just that.
For example, a driver who refuses blood alcohol testing can have their license suspended for a year if it is their first drunk driving incident. A refusal based on a second drunk driving arrest can result in a suspended license for two years. Longer periods of suspension can apply if a driver kills someone while allegedly drunk driving or is subject to an aggravated charge and he or she refuses to submit to alcohol testing.
When a person chooses to obtain a driver's license in Tennessee, they essentially agree to drive without alcohol in their body. Refusing to give blood or breath for a BAC test will generally not stop a person from getting into trouble with the law. When this happens, it may be wise for accused individuals to work with compassionate and knowledgeable DUI defense attorneys who may be able to protect their legal rights and fight to avoid the harshest penalties being imposed.