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What is implied consent?

On Behalf of | Jan 8, 2021 | Drunk Driving |

There are many laws to remember when commuting on Iowa roads. Most of them are second nature to experienced drivers, such as following the speed limit or wearing their seat belt.

However, some laws are not as well-known even though they are just as critical for drivers to understand. One such law that many drivers are unaware about is Iowa’s implied consent law.

What does implied consent entail?

If you have a driver’s license and drive on Iowa roads, you implicitly give your consent to submit to chemical testing if the police suspect you of driving under the influence or while impaired. Chemical tests generally include breath, blood or urine tests.

Drivers give their consent to this when they apply for their driver’s license – though most people are unaware of that. It is important to understand this law, so you have the information you need to defend your rights and handle the delicate and risky situations.

When does this apply?

According to Iowa law, there are specific conditions when someone gives their “implied consent” to a chemical test. These include:

  • The police have reason to believe an individual operated a vehicle while impaired
  • The police place the individual under arrest for an OWI
  • The individual was involved in a motor vehicle accident and suspected of an OWI
  • The individual refused a preliminary breath test (PBT)
  • The PBT resulted in a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%
  • The PBT determined a BAC of 0.04% for a commercial driver
  • They tested a BAC of 0.02% and are under the age of 21

This law might be widely unknown, but it affects every driver who gets behind the wheel.

“Implied consent” is why refusing tests can have penalties

Even though many drivers might be unaware of the implied consent law, they often know that refusing sobriety tests can lead to increased OWI penalties. The concept of implied consent is why these penalties exist.

If you refuse a chemical test, you could face consequences including:

  • A suspended or revoked license and driving privileges
  • Requirement to pay a $200 fee after a license revocation
  • Loss of a deferred judgment

The police must inform you of the potential consequences you could face for a refusal when they request or administer the test. Even so, it is critical to understand these rules and the consequences before you get behind the wheel, so you can protect yourself and your future.



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