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Alcohol Test Refusals

What If I Refuse To Take A Blood Or Breath Test in California?

When arrested for DUI and asked to take a blood or breath test, if you refuse you could face some serious consequences.

The California “Implied Consent” law states that:

  • “A person who drives a motor vehicle is deemed to have given his or her consent to chemical testing of his or her blood or breath for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of his or her blood, if lawfully arrested for an offense allegedly committed in violation of Section 23140, 23152, or 23153.”

Refusal to take a blood or breath test following an arrest for DUI can be construed as an admission of guilt and if you refuse to take the breath or blood test you will lose your license for a year, even if the test turns out to be negative.

Chemical Test Refusals in a California DUI Cases

If you refuse to submit to a DUI breath test after you were arrested for driving under the influence in California, you will face legal penalties for a chemical test refusal.

The consequences of a chemical test refusal include:

  • Increased penalties above the normal California DUI penalties
  • Mandatory driver's license suspension in spite of the the outcome of your DUI case.

These consequences are due to California's “implied consent” law, which state you don't have the right to refuse a DUI breath test after your are lawfully arrested for DUI. The “implied consent law” traditionally applied to both DUI blood tests and breath tests.

Police officers are allowed to request a breath test at two points during a DUI case:

  • Before an arrest during a traffic stop. This is commonly known as a PAS test, which is optional. You may refuse with no penalty.
  • After a DUI arrest as a part of you legal processing. This is breath test required by law. If you refuse to comply, you will face additional penalties.

You should discuss the matter with a skilled DUI defense lawyer who knows the laws and how they will be applied to your circumstances.

There are avenues one can approach in defending an individual who has refused a blood or breath test upon their DUI arrest. For instance, the arresting officer would have to show that they had “reasonable suspicion” that you were in fact driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

In addition to the proof necessary to justify that a stop for DUI was warranted, how the officer handled the arrest, and what was said or not said can play an important role in the outcome of your court appearance.

Learn How We Can Help You

Cron, Israel & Stark have the experience you need to investigate the details that matter in the defense of your case. In your initial free consultation, we will review the details with you and help you to map out achieving the best outcome possible.

Our office has the experience to do what we can to protect you throughout your case and will do everything possible to aggressively pursue avenues of defense.

Refusing a blood or breath with a DUI arrest takes knowledge and skill to defend. Call us to review of the issues that can assure you the most favorable outcome possible.

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