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Can I Refuse a Chemical Test?

Posted By Blumenthal Law Offices || 14-Mar-2016

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 (951) 682-5110.

Categories: DUI

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