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Implied Consent / Refusal

Aggressive Birmingham DUI Lawyer Defending the Rights of Clients Charged with Impaired Driving Offenses

The thought of getting pulled over for a DUI is stressful, to say the least. So, it’s understandable that most people have no idea how to respond to a police officer investigating a possible DUI. Alabama has what’s known as an implied consent law. Essentially, this law assumes that anyone who drives on an Alabama road agrees to take either a blood or breath test when a police officer develops probable cause to believe the driver was under the influence of drugs [link to Drug DUI page] or alcohol. However, you still have the right to refuse chemical testing and, although doing so will result in a driver’s license suspension, sometimes it is a tactical decision that can make the government’s case much harder to prove.    

At the Stoves Law Firm, P.C., Attorney Jason Stoves has more than 25 years of experience aggressively defending the rights, freedoms, and driving privileges of men and women facing Birmingham DUI charges. We take a strategic and comprehensive approach to every case we handle, and always start by intently listening to your story.

Alabama’s implied consent law is contained in Alabama Code § 32-5-192, and provides that “[a[ny person who operates a motor vehicle on the public highways of this state shall be deemed to have given consent … to a chemical test.” While the law covers tests of a driver’s blood, breath and oral fluids, blood tests and breath tests are by far the most used. The implied consent law applies to anyone operating a vehicle in Alabama, regardless of their residency.

Can You Refuse a Blood Test? What About a Breath Test?

Yes, in the majority of situations, you are free to refuse to provide a sample for a blood or breath test. However, because of the state’s implied consent law, if you do refuse consent, you will be subject to a driver’s license suspension. Additionally, if you are ultimately convicted of a DUI, the punishment you face may be greater based on the fact that you refused a breath or blood test.

 What Are the Penalties for Refusing a Breath or Blood Test in Alabama?

In Alabama, the penalties for refusing a blood test or a breath test are primarily administrative and focus on the suspension of driving privileges.

First Refusal: If you refuse to submit to a chemical test for the first time, your driver’s license can be suspended for 90 days.

Second and Subsequent Refusals: If you have previous refusals (or previous DUI convictions [link to 2nd Time DUI page]) within the last ten years, refusing a chemical test can result in a driver’s license suspension for one year.

It’s important to note that these penalties are in addition to any other penalties [link to DUI Penalties page] that might be imposed if you are ultimately convicted of DUI, which can lead to an additional license suspension, fines, mandatory DUI education programs, and possibly jail time.

Can You Challenge a DUI Refusal in Alabama?

Yes, you can challenge a DUI refusal in Alabama. If you refuse to submit to a chemical test under the Alabama implied consent law, you have the right to request an administrative hearing to contest the suspension. Notably, this is a separate proceeding from the criminal DUI case, and is limited to answering the following questions:

  1. Did the arresting officer have probable cause to believe you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
  2. Did the officer inform you of the consequences of a DUI refusal?
  3. Did you actually refuse to provide a sample?

If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” then the suspension will likely be reversed.

Are You Facing a Driver’s License Suspension as a Result of a DUI Refusal?

If you were recently arrested for a DUI, our Birmingham implied consent attorney is here to help. Attorney Jason Stoves is an experienced criminal defense and DUI lawyer who has helped countless clients keep their driver’s licenses and avoid the consequences of a DUI conviction. We strongly believe in enforcing our clients’ rights and bringing constitutional violations to light to discourage police officers from overreaching and impinging upon our collective freedoms. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call the Stoves Law Firm, P.C. at (205) 823-7233, or you can connect with us through our secure online contact form

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