Q: Is implied consent constitutional why or why not?
This is in terms of breath tests and other alcohol tests taken by police officers.
The short answer is yes. Courts have consistently upheld implied consent testing against constitutional challenges. At least in theory, the subject person's "consent" for the alcohol test is given when they become (or remain) a licensed driver, such that the test does not constitute an illegal involuntary search. As many driver's ed instructors love saying: "Driving is a privilege, not a right." The legality of Implied Consent laws is based largely on that concept, which is legally correct, but not quite the whole story.
Just because the concept of Implied Consent is constitutional does NOT mean that every test or consequence for a test refusal is constitutional. Testing should be legally limited to licensed drivers while driving (rather than, say, a passenger in a car, or someone stopped on the sidewalk on suspicion of public intoxication). There are also very specific guidelines that law enforcement must follow, and test results can sometimes be thrown out if they don't. An otherwise legal test might also follow an illegal traffic stop, depending on the circumstances.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.