You may have heard that you cannot be convicted of a DUI if the police do not have the results of a breath, blood, or urine test showing that you were impaired above the legal limit, and therefore that it is a good idea to refuse to submit to these tests. Because of implied consent laws in all 50 states, refusing to take a breath or blood test if you are suspected of driving under the influence means that you can be prosecuted for that refusal.
Implied consent is outlined in the Nevada statute 484C.160. It means that a person who drives in Nevada has agreed to submit to an evidentiary test of their blood, breath, or urine if they are stopped by a police officer under suspicion of driving under the influence. States make strong efforts to curb DUIs by strict enforcement of the DUI laws because some of the state’s highway funds can be dependent on doing so. It is important to remember that the state is a strong opponent in your DUI case for this, and other, reasons, so an equally strong defense team is very important.
What does this mean for you? In addition to the problems that can occur if you refuse a blood or breath test, there are other considerations with Nevada’s implied consent law:
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
If you are unconscious in a vehicle or after an accident, a police officer can ask an EMT or other medical professional to take your blood and test it for alcohol or controlled substances in amounts over the legal limit.
The law is changing in this area all the time, and you should consult your Las Vegas defense lawyer right away if you have been forced to submit to a blood test on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. There are certain cases where the police may be allowed to force you into taking a blood, breath, or urine test, and other situations where this is not allowed.
A police officer who orders a person under the age of 18 to submit to a test of blood, breath, or urine must make reasonable efforts to contact the minor’s parent or guardian as soon as possible regarding the test. This does not mean that law enforcement must reach the parents or guardians prior to administering the test, which is important to understand in a DUI case involving a minor.
Implied consent laws are questioned in courts around the country all the time, and that includes a recent United States Supreme Court decision that came down in 2013. You should not face the DUI process alone under any circumstances, but especially not if you have been forced to submit to a test of your blood, breath, or urine by a police officer who suspected that you were driving under the influence.
Contact LV Criminal Defense as soon as possible if you have been arrested to DUI, especially if your arrest involved a forced chemical test. You have rights, and law enforcement has an interest in ensuring the most convictions involving DUI. Therefore, law enforcement is not on your side in these cases and you need legal advice.