One term that is often heard when someone is charged with DUI is "implied consent." This may sound intimidating and legalistic, but it is actually easy to understand. The Montana Legislature passed a law that requires Montana drivers to give breath or blood samples if they are lawfully arrested for driving under the influence. The consent is called "implied" because it is compulsory, by law, for everyone who drives a motor vehicle in Montana. The breath and blood tests are designed to measure the amount of drugs or alcohol in the driver's body. The arresting officer chooses whether to administer a breath or a blood test, and the driver has no right to call an attorney before deciding to take the test. If the driver refuses the test, the implied consent law provides that the driver's license must be seized. However, suspensions and revocations due to implied consent violations may be appealed. Many drivers do not realize that they have the right to have an independent blood sample analyzed at their own cost. What's more, they retain this right even if they refuse to take the test required by the police officer. The driver's right to an independent test is critical. The officer must advise the driver of this right, and the officer cannot unreasonably impede the driver's right to an independent test. In fact, the driver's right to an independent test is so important that if an officer fails to follow up on it, the DUI charges must be dropped. If your driver's license has been suspended or revoked, you don't have to face it alone. The attorneys at Tipp & Buley are ready to assist you. We understand how important your driver's license is to everyday life. We have defended DUI cases aggressively for over 55 years, and we'll give your case the attention it deserves. To make an appointment at our Missoula office, call 406-549-5186 or visit our website.
I've Heard About Implied Consent in Montana's DUI Law. What Does that Mean?