One of the most common arguments our DUI attorneys hear from prospective clients is that they never agreed to take a blood or breath test when they were arrested. Despite not giving their consent, they were tested anyways. This may be a valid defense in some cases, but due to the DUI implied consent law in California, it may not be a valid defense in your DUI case.
What is the DUI Implied Consent Law?
It is important to understand that California imposes what is referred to as an implied consent law. This law states that if you drive a car in California and are lawfully arrested for DUI, you are deemed to have given consent to the chemical testing of either your blood or breath.
In simpler terms, your consent is implied if you are arrested for DUI, so officers will not need you to ask you for your consent. What this means to you is that you are actually required by law to submit to a chemical test to determine the alcohol and/or drug content in your body after you have been lawfully arrested for DUI in California.
Am I Required to Take a PAS Test?
There is a distinction between blood and breath tests that occur after you are lawfully arrested for DUI and the hand-held Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test that may be offered at the scene of the vehicle stop before you get arrested.
Different DUI laws apply to the PAS test, depending on the age of the driver and your prior DUI record. Although the PAS test is non-mandatory for adults, it is mandatory for those under 21. If you are under 21 and suspected of DUI, you are also deemed to have given consent to the PAS and an additional blood or breath test.
What Happens If I Refuse a Blood or Breath Test?
Even though the implied consent law states that you automatically consent to a blood or breath test, some people still refuse to get tested. In most cases, law enforcement will attempt to force you to take the test. However, if you do not submit to a blood or breath test, you could face the following consequences:
- A fine
- Mandatory imprisonment if you later convicted for this DUI
- The suspension of your driver’s license for one to three years depending on the circumstances of your case
Your DUI lawyer may have a better defense if you refuse a blood or breath test, but that doesn’t mean you should not take a test. A skilled DUI attorney can use many valid arguments to challenge the results of the test and help you obtain the best possible outcome in your case.
Call the DUI Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you are accused of DUI, you need to speak to a skilled criminal defense attorney at Wallin & Klarich immediately. Our DUI lawyers have over 30 years of experience successfully defending our clients accused of DUI. We have the knowledge and skill necessary to help you get the best result possible in your case.
With offices in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Victorville, West Covina, Sherman Oaks and Torrance, our skilled DUI lawyers are available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Call our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.