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Oct 16, 2012

Failure to sign Implied Consent… Any significance?

Oftentimes when clients refuse to submit to a breath or blood test, the client also refuses to sign the Implied Consent form. Invariably, I get the question: “well, since I didn’t sign the form, how can they use it against me?”

Unfortunately, your signature is not a required predicate to a refusal suspension. The officer need only read to you the Implied Consent paragraphs that deal with your duty to submit to a breath test and the possible penalties for failing to do so. If you refuse to sign the form, you can’t go back and plead ignorance to the consequences later.

Which brings us to another common issue: “what if I was too drunk to know what I was signing?” Sounds like a great defense right? Wrong. If you sign the Implied Consent form, it is presumed that you read and understood what you were signing. You can’t argue to the Hearings Administration Officer later that you were “too drunk to know what I was doing!”

Maine’s OUI laws are tough and our Implied Consent laws make it clear that all drivers have a duty to submit to a breath, blood or urine test at the request of a law enforcement officer. Whether you are a Maine driver or a California licensed driver makes no difference at the end of the day as all 50 states have Implied Consent laws on the books.

If you’ve been arrested for OUI, especially if it involved a refusal to submit to a breath test, pick up the phone and call my office. The penalties for refusing a test are draconian and I can help you get through this trying time.



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