The implied consent type of law is an additional legislative means of persuading the motorist that it does not pay to mix alcohol with his gasoline. It is the avenue by which a legislature can impress upon him that if he chooses to operate a motor vehicle after he has impaired his ability to handle it with proper care and is caught, one of the most precious possessions of modern man--his privilege of driving upon our public highways--shall be forfeit if he does not cooperate with the law enforcement agencies and the courts in determining by reliable modern scientific means whether he is innocent or guilty of a violation of this public trust. It is not a compulsory law--no state in this country yet has a compulsory law. The implied consent law specifically states that if a person refuses to submit to a chemical test, none shall be administered to him. At the present time, however, it is doubtful whether anyone can answer the question of the effectiveness of the implied consent type of law. In New York which has had the benefit of an implied consent law for about 12 years, probably no one can estimate how effective the law has been in reducing the incidence of driving while in an intoxicated condition, how many fewer traffic accidents, injuries, or fatalities each year there might be because of it, if any, or just how many drinking drivers have been persuaded not to take the wheel when they have had too much. Several things, however, are certain. Many more law enforcement agencies in that state are using modern chemical tests as a tool in combatting the drinking driver problem because of this law, more poli e officials are facing up to their responsibilities in this particular field, more innocent motorists are not being charged with a criminal offense when their obvious impairment is due to some other pathological condition, and more of the quilty are being convicted and taken off the roads for some period of time.

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00083892
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 8 1975 12:00AM