In California, every person who receives a license automatically subjects
themselves to the implied consent law (Cal. Veh. Code § 23612(a)(1)(B)).
That means by applying for a license, you are also signing away your right
to refuse a blood, breath, or urine test when pulled over lawfully. The
only option the law gives you is which test to take.
As many people know, if the test reads a blood alcohol content level above
.08%, then the driver will be arrested for driving under the influence.
If the driver’s BAC is between .05 and .08, they are not automatically
presumed to be sober; the officer can still believe a driver to be guilty
of DUI if the driver is exhibiting other signs of alcohol or substance
abuse. Due to the DMV laws regarding BAC levels and testing,
you cannot refuse without facing heavy consequences.
The consequences of refusing to take a chemical test include:
- $125 fine
- Immediate arrest
- 1-year suspension of driving privileges
- Mandatory prison sentence if found guilty of DUI
These consequences don’t even include penalties if this is a second
offense. If the driver has had a violation on their record in the last
10 years, refusal could result in
revocation of their driving license for 2 years, as well as tougher sentencing if
they are found guilty.
Unfortunately, refusing the chemical test will not guarantee your freedom
or innocence—prosecutors have been known to use refusals as signs
that the defendant was definitely guilty of DUI. Regardless of the speculation,
however, the lack of hard evidence makes it more difficult for prosecutors
to prove a DUI violation. When it comes to your freedom, you will need
to gauge your own situation and assess the risks yourself.
However, the consequences for failing a DUI test are far heavier:
- Up to 4 days in jail
- Fines up to $1,000
Ultimately, the best practice, refusal or not, is to call a local criminal
defense attorney. Your attorney will be able to give you the most accurate
and dependable information for your situation, and can help you navigate
the situation for the best possible outcome. If you’ve been arrested
for DUI in Southern California, call the Riverside criminal defense lawyer
at Blumenthal Law Offices today.
We offer free legal consultations so you can hear your best options—call