Over the holiday season, there were many news stories about intoxicated driving. Indeed, throughout Alabama, it seemed that DUI arrests exploded. Though, what may come as a bigger shock to those pulled over is that our state is an implied consent state.
Essentially, this means that when one is licensed, every Alabama licensed driver consents to alcohol chemical tests, blood tests and blood or urine tests to determine whether one has an unlawful blood alcohol content. This is explained in Alabama Code Title 32, Section § 32-5-192.
How tests administered?
The test or tests are administered by the law enforcement officer when they have reasonable grounds to believe a driver was operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. The law enforcement agency that employs this officer designates the BAC tests used in their jurisdiction.
What if the driver refuses?
If the Birmingham, Alabama, driver refuses the BAC test, the law enforcement officer must tell them that the refusal will result in the immediate suspension of their drivers’ license for, at least, 90 days. However, the law enforcement agency must provide other options, outside of just the blood BAC test. If there is an additional refusal within a five-year period, the drivers’ license suspension is increased to one year. And, even if one is subsequently acquitted, this period can be reduced, but there is no guarantee a reduction.
The consent survives death and even unconsciousness
This consent is so strong that, if one is unconscious or dies, or in any way in a condition incapable of refusal, the law enforcement agency can administer whatever BAC test it deems appropriate. Birmingham, Alabama, law enforcement utilizes this consent regularly for potential DUI charges, and drivers should be aware of it.