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Implied Consent Law in Connecticut

Implied consent means that, by driving on the roads in the state, the driver has agreed to take any blood alcohol tests requested by a law enforcement officer after a lawful arrest.  These tests may be run on the driver’s blood, breath, or urine.  A refusal to take the test will result in an immediate suspension of the driver’s license.

The driver is allowed to phone an attorney prior to the tests and is notified that refusal will result in a suspension of his license.  If the driver takes the requested test, his license will not be suspended unless the test results show him to be intoxicated.  If he refuses to take the test, the report concerning the arrest will include a notation indicating his refusal.  This notation is made by a third party, who must witness the refusal himself.  In order to witness a refusal, the third party must be at the same location as the defendant and see the refusal with his own senses.  The refusal cannot be witnessed over closed circuit television or other device which may distort the event.

The report of the arrest and the results of the test are to be sent to the Department of Motor Vehicles within three days.  The report will state why the law enforcement officer believed there was probable cause for the arrest and all other information requested by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Finally, the implied consent law grants the driver a right to a hearing in front of an agent of the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.  The driver will receive a notification of suspension in the mail and will have seven (7) days to request a hearing.  If a proper request for a hearing is made, the hearing must be scheduled to be held within thirty (30) days.   If the driver is a repeat offender or has caused an accident resulting in a fatality, his license is immediately suspended.  In all other cases the hearing must be held before the suspension may begin.  If the driver does not petition for a hearing, he is deemed to consent to the suspension of his license.

The requirements of the Implied Consent statute do not need to be strictly followed in order for a driver’s license to be suspended.  A suspension has been upheld when blood alcohol content tests were done prior to arrest and the driver’s refusal to take the tests was not noted on the report by a third party.

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