Tennessee’s Implied Consent Law

Law enforcement giving a ticket to a driver

Being accused of driving under the influence (DUI) can be terrifying for drivers. As law enforcement initiates a conversation with the driver, if they suspect the driver is under the influence, they will state that the driver needs to take a breath or blood test to prove their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is lower than the national average of .08%. If a driver refuses to do so, they could then face the consequences for not obeying Tennessee’s implied consent law.

Tennessee’s implied consent law is outlined in Tennessee Code Annotated § 55-10-406 and partially states that when suspected of a DUI, all drivers automatically give consent to a breath or blood test to determine their BAC. The law goes on to say that if a driver refuses to submit to a breath or blood test, certain professionals can conduct the test if instructed by law enforcement. Those professionals include:

  • Doctors;
  • Nurses;
  • Lab technicians; and,
  • Licensed paramedics.

It should be noted that in many scenarios, drivers have the right to refuse a breath or blood test. However, in extreme cases, such as if the driver is accused of causing a serious or fatal accident, that driver may not have the choice to consent and will be forced to have a blood sample taken.

This includes when a suspected intoxicated driver cannot speak for themselves after an accident due to the seriousness of the incident. In this scenario, because of the Tennessee implied consent law, law enforcement will ask medical professionals to take a blood sample to determine BAC.

Consequences for Not Consenting

If drivers refuse to have their BAC taken, automatic consequences will be put in place including license revocation for one to five years or possibly for life. There are other times, however, when a license revocation does not happen. The consequences for not consenting to have their BAC taken vary for drivers depending on the severity of the incident surrounding their suspected DUI case.

Tennessee Implied Consent Attorneys at Puryear, Newman & Morton, PLLC

If you are asked to take a breath or blood test, understand it is your right to say no in most scenarios. If you refuse this type of test, it’s essential to have the Tennessee DUI attorneys at Puryear, Newman & Morton, PLLC by your side. With more than 100 years of combined experience, our dedicated attorneys can guide you through the next steps to get you through your legal matter promptly as possible.

Reach out to our knowledgeable team today online or by phone so we can start working together. (615) 933-2366

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