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What is North Carolina's 'implied consent' law?

It's a sight and sound no motorist in North Carolina wants to experience -- the flashing red and blue lights in their rear-view mirror and the blare of police sirens in their ear. An officer who pulls a motorist over on suspicion of drunk driving may ask the motorist to perform a breath test. This can be a difficult situation. A person may want to refuse to submit to such a test; for example, if they are certain they are not drunk or if they don't want to make a bad situation worse. However, there are legal consequences for refusing to submit to a breath test.

This is because North Carolina has what is called an "implied consent" law. Basically, what this means is that in exchange for the privilege of being able to drive, motorists automatically agree to submit to a breath test when asked by police if the police have reasonable grounds to believe that the motorist was driving under the influence.

If a motorist refuses to submit to a breath test, they will face a revocation of their drivers license for 12 months. Moreover, the fact that the motorist refused to submit to a breath test can be entered as evidence should the motorist's case go to trial.

As this shows, motorists in North Carolina should think hard before refusing to submit to a breath test. While they may have a good reason for refusing a breath test, there are legal consequences that come with this refusal. Those who have questions about North Carolina's implied consent law may want to consult with their attorney.

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Brannen & Walker Attorneys at law

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Concord, NC 28025

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