Police officers in California often use blood tests to measure a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level after an arrest for driving under the influence (DUI). Some drivers are unsure about their options when faced with a BAC test. You may even wonder if the police can draw blood for a DUI without your consent.
Review regulations on DUI blood tests in California right here. Go over your rights, implied consent, and the uses of BAC tests with the Simmrin Law Group. Contact us at (310) 997-4688 if you have additional questions about DUI blood tests.
Implied Consent for BAC Testing in California
Drivers in California give implied consent to BAC testing anytime they operate a vehicle in the state. This means that a driver has already agreed to complete a BAC test if they are arrested for a DUI in California. However, implied consent does not necessarily mean that a driver agrees to take a blood test.
After a DUI arrest, drivers should be offered the choice to take a blood test or a breath test. In some cases, a driver can even take a urine test, though this assessment is used less frequently. As long as a driver selects a breath test, and completes it, they may not be required to take a blood test after a DUI arrest.
Note that refusal to take either a breath or blood test can result in legal penalties. Drivers can have their license suspended for a year if they refuse a BAC test after they are arrested.
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Blood Testing for a DUI Without a Warrant
Note that, before 2018, law enforcement officers needed a warrant to draw a driver’s blood after a DUI arrest, even if the driver consented to the draw. This is no longer the case. Currently, an officer does not need a warrant to draw a driver’s blood if:
- The driver voluntarily and freely chose a blood test instead of a breath test AND
- The officer orders their blood drawn to assess their BAC level
Note that in this situation, blood will not be drawn without the driver’s consent. Law enforcement officers may also require a DUI blood test without a warrant if a driver is:
- Suspected of committing a felony DUI
- Suspected of driving under the influence of drugs (DUID)
In the above situations, a driver may be forced to take a blood DUI test without their consent. These forced BAC tests are considered admissible in the California court system. You can speak to a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles if you were subjected to a forced BAC test. Just call (310) 997-4688 to go over your legal options in this situation.
Blood Testing for a DUI with a Warrant in California
Law enforcement officers may get a warrant for a forced blood test in some situations. The court can issue law enforcement officers a warrant if they believe that a blood test is necessary
Once a warrant has been issued for a blood test, law enforcement officers can force the test to occur. Note that it is very unlikely that a driver will be subjected to a forced blood draw if they are suspected of a misdemeanor DUI.
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Uses of DUI Blood Tests in the Court System
A DUI blood test can report a driver’s BAC. Drivers in California can face criminal charges if their BAC is at or above the limits set by the state. Generally, drivers must keep their BAC under 0.08% to avoid a DUI charge. However, some drivers must maintain a lower BAC. This includes:
- Drivers under 21, who need to keep their BAC under 0.01%
- Commercial drivers, who need to keep their BAC under 0.04%
The prosecution can use the results of a BAC test to build a case against you. You can get help disputing the results of a BAC test by working with a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles. Even if you were forced to take a blood test, your lawyer may be able to show that the test was inaccurate.
Disputing the results of a DUI blood test can help your lawyer to defend you in court. Review other defenses to DUI charges with the Simmrin Law Group today.
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Get Legal Help if the Police Perform a DUI Test Without Your Consent
The police can draw blood for a DUI without your consent in some cases in California. You can also choose to take a blood test freely. In either situation, the professionals at the Simmrin Law Group can help you build a defense to DUI accusations. Start working on your defense now by contacting us to get a FREE initial case evaluation.
Call (310) 997-4688 or fill out our online contact form to speak to a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles.