What implied consent laws mean for you

It is a safe bet to say that pretty much every adult resident of North Carolina knows that drinking and driving or driving under the influence of any impairing substance is illegal. When law enforcement authorities suspect a person of driving while impaired, they have the right to initiate a traffic stop to investigate. Implied consent laws, which exist in every state, are in place to compel people to comply with the DWI investigation process.

What are implied consent laws?

Implied consent laws are tied to a person’s driver’s license. To obtain a license, one has to agree to participate in chemical and field sobriety testing if they are ever believed to be operating a motor vehicle while impaired. If the individual refuses to comply, the consequences can be significant. As it currently stands, the penalties for refusal may include:

  • Suspension of driving privileges
  • Jail time
  • Fines

While the consequences are steep, whether an individual complies with implied consent laws is actually still up to personal choice. One can say no. The question comes down to what the individual feels will serve their best interests in the end.


Regardless of whether a person complies or refuses to comply with implied consent laws in North Carolina, the individual may be in need of help fighting to consequences associated with either choice. An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to assist with this. With the right help in one’s corner, one may be able to achieve a case dismissal or at least a reduction in charges and have driving privileges restored as quickly as possible.

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