Does Saying Nothing Mean Saying Yes?

Last week, the Arizona Supreme Court agreed to review a Court of Appeals case pertaining to implied consent law for persons arrested for suspicions of DWI.

Whether or not a warrant should be required prior to a blood test in a DWI arrest is what’s causing the debate.

The Supreme Court agreed to consider a recent Court of Appeals decision on the issue. In that recent case, the court had decided that failure to resist a blood test did not constitute consent. In other words, as it stands right now, simply because a person doesn’t blatantly refuse a blood test, does not mean the person has given his/her consent.

The individual under arrest, according to the court, has a right to understand the implications of refusal and verbally and explicitly consent to or refuse the test.

This sounds a bit like how the Miranda Rights came to be…law enforcement providing individuals with an explicit explanation of their rights.

In this case, the Court of Appeals went on to define the state’s “implied consent” law. It stated clearly that a motorist, though he or she will consent to losing the privilege to drive, still maintains the right to withhold consent for a warrantless search.

The Court of Appeals says the law in question is called “implied consent” because drivers are subject to a civil driver’s license suspension if they refuse to have blood drawn.

But the ruling says motorists clearly still have the right to withhold consent for a non-warrant search.

This post was intended to provide general information only and is not intended as specific legal advice. You should not rely upon this information alone, but should consult legal counsel regarding the application of the laws and regulations discussed and as applied to your specific case or circumstance.