The State of Kansas, like all other states, has an implied consent law that applies to any driver pulled over on suspicion of DUI. Under the law, by exercising the privilege of driving a vehicle in the state, a driver has a legal obligation to consent to chemical tests for drugs or alcohol. Every driver should understand the implied consent law to avoid unintended and potentially severe consequences during a DUI investigation or arrest.
Under the Kansas implied consent statute, K.S.A. 8-1001, any person operating or attempting to operate a vehicle is considered to have given consent to one or more tests of the person’s blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substance for the purpose of determining the presence of alcohol or drugs.
The implied consent rule applies to all chemical tests, including breathalyzer, blood, and urine tests. For the law to apply, the law enforcement officer must follow a strict set of procedures, which include providing the driver with a specific written and verbal notification, called a DC-70 form.
The police officer chooses which tests to administer and may require multiple tests. The driver has no right to choose which test(s) to take, but does have the right to get an independent test from a different facility after completion of the law enforcement tests.
If a driver refuses to take chemical tests after a lawful request and notification by an officer, there are several consequences the driver faces, including an administrative penalty of a one-year driver’s license suspension. The administrative penalty is completely independent of any DUI charges that may result from the incident, and applies even if there are no resulting charges or no DUI conviction. A driver can file an administrative appeal from the license suspension within 14 days of imposition.
Refusing chemical tests does not necessarily mean a test will not be administered. While an officer cannot force a driver to take a test following refusal, the officer may obtain a warrant to authorize conducting the test by force if necessary.
In addition to the administrative penalty that applies to test refusal, a prosecutor may use the refusal as evidence in a trial, if a DUI charge goes to trial. While a refusal does not prove alcohol or drug use, the prosecutor can argue that the refusal indicates that the driver had something to hide.
A one-year license suspension for refusal to take a chemical test can have disastrous ramifications for many people. If you refused a chemical test during a DUI investigation, you should talk with an experienced DUI defense attorney at the earliest opportunity, especially since there is a time limit on challenging a license suspension administratively.
The implied consent statute is extremely complex. There are specific requirements that apply for a refusal to result in license suspension. Depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding your refusal to take a chemical test, your attorney may be able to challenge application of the implied consent statute and the resulting license suspension.
If the incident also involved a DUI charge, your lawyer can separately defend against that charge as well. Even a first DUI charge can have significant penalties and consequences. A conviction on your record can affect your opportunities for employment and housing, as well as your ability to obtain credit. It can affect your life adversely in other ways as well. There are many strategies for challenging a DUI arrest, based on the occurrences and police conduct during the arrest and testing. Asserting a defense to a DUI charge requires professional experience, knowledge, and skill.
No matter what the circumstances of your refusal to take chemical tests or DUI arrest, our experienced DUI defense lawyers at Sloan Law Firm can help you address the administrative penalty and aggressively defend against the DUI charges. There often are ways to challenge the evidence and the conduct of the police in an incident relating to DUI. Our lawyers know how to fully investigate the facts in a case, analyze the applicable laws, and develop a sound strategy for a defense.
The Kansas implied consent and DUI laws are very complicated. You should never attempt to navigate an implied consent license suspension or DUI charges on your own without assistance from an experienced DUI defense attorney.
From our offices in Topeka and Lawrence, our experienced DUI defense attorneys at Sloan Law Firm assist clients throughout Kansas. We invite you to contact us by calling (785) 357-6311 or using our online contact form.