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What is implied consent and how can it affect my DWI case?

When you get pulled over for a suspected DWI, evidence, or lack thereof, can make or break your case. Your first reaction in this scenario may be to avoid complying altogether to avoid implicating yourself.

However, before you take any actions you may regret, there are some things you should know about the implied consent law in North Carolina and how it can affect your DWI case.

What is implied consent?

When police suspect you of driving while impaired, they may pull you over and ask to test for your blood alcohol content. According to North Carolina’s implied consent law, you acknowledged your willingness to submit to chemical testing of your breath or blood by applying for a driver’s license and operating a vehicle on a North Carolina road.

How can it affect my DWI case?

An officer who pulls you over for a suspected DWI must follow specific procedures to give you a chemical test, which includes notifying you of your rights verbally and in writing. You do not have to submit to testing. Nevertheless, there may be some consequences if you do not. For example, refusal of chemical testing results in an automatic one-year license revocation, regardless of whether or not the charges hold. If you refuse chemical testing, the prosecution must prove impairment another way, but they can use your refusal against you.

Understanding North Carolina’s DWI and chemical testing laws can help you make sense of your situation to defend yourself against charges more vigorously moving forward.