The matter of implied consent can be confusing and misleading. Sure, implied consent laws do put drivers in a position of commonly having to give into authorities’ request to take a breath test, but there are times when refusing chemical tests is not only wise but legal, too.
Tennessee Titans player Kenny Britt exercised his right to refuse a breath test during a drunk driving investigation last summer. He was stopped while trying to accompany a military member into her military base when officials there thought that they had reason to initiate a traffic stop. They thought wrong, according to a magistrate’s ruling.
A breath test refusal can lead to legal consequences, most specifically the temporary loss of one’s driver’s license. If a defendant can prove that authorities didn’t have sufficient evidence to require a Breathalyzer, however, he can avoid any legal ramifications for his refusal.
Britt and his defense team convinced the magistrate that since the NFL player had supposedly passed field sobriety tests and didn’t exhibit driving that would warrant a DUI stop, he was within his right to refuse the breath test; officials were out of bounds by requesting it. With no cause for the drunk driving investigation and breath test, Britt was found not guilty of DUI and not guilty of violating implied consent.
A criminal suspect has rights, even if it is a person with a background like Britt’s. (He has various legal incidents on his record.) Police would love to have the right to subject DUI suspects to any tests that they want; but they do not.
Our drunk driving defense lawyers handle Tennessee implied consent cases in order to protect the rights of our clients and to protect their driving privileges.
Source: The Associated Press, “Kenny Britt cleared of DUI charge in Kentucky,” March 20, 2013