Law enforcement officers may wish to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC) if they suspect you are driving under the influence (DUI). BAC may be measured with chemical breath, blood, or urine tests. Most of the time, breath or blood tests will be used.
Find out if you have the right to refuse a DUI blood test in California with this article. Review your rights at a DUI traffic stop with the Simmrin Law Group. You can also focus on your options for handling failure on a DUI blood test here.
California Has Implied Consent Laws for BAC Tests
Drivers in California give implied consent to many BAC tests when they get behind the wheel of a vehicle. This means that, by driving, you are legally giving your consent to complete lawfully ordered BAC assessments.
All drivers are required to complete BAC breath tests after they are legally arrested, for example. You do not have the right to refuse this test and you can face criminal charges if you refuse.
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Regulations on Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) Tests
In addition to post-arrest DUI tests, law enforcement officers may request that you complete a PAS test. If these tests are requested before you are arrested, you MAY be legally allowed to refuse them. You may also have the right to refuse field sobriety tests before an arrest.
However, this right does not apply to everyone throughout the state. You must complete PAS tests and field sobriety tests if you are:
- Under 21
- On DUI probation
In these situations, the state holds that you provided implied consent to complete all pre-arrest BAC tests.
Other Rights Associated with DUI Tests in California
BAC testing in California is a complicated legal issue. Your rights are limited after you are stopped by a police officer who suspects you were driving under the influence. You should be aware that:
- You may only have one opportunity to submit to a legally ordered test
- You may be able to request the type of test you take
- You are not legally guaranteed the right to speak with a lawyer before your test
- You are not legally guaranteed the right to have your physician present during testing
Note that if you are asked to select a BAC test to take and you do not answer, this can be considered a refusal to complete the test.
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Results of a Refusal to Complete a DUI Test
Refusing to complete a legally ordered DUI test can enhance the penalties for a DUI conviction. This enhancement may add time to your jail sentence. For example, you may have:
- Two days added for a first DUI conviction
- Four days added for a second DUI conviction
- Ten days added for a third DUI conviction
Additionally, refusing a lawfully ordered DUI assessment can result in the automatic suspension or revocation of your driving privileges. The court may have your license:
- Suspended for one year for a first offense
- Revoked for two years for a second offense
- Revoked for three years for a third offense
Make sure you take DUI testing seriously in California by reaching out to a legal professional for more information. You can strengthen your understanding of this form of testing with a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles.
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Address DUI Test Results in California
A failure on a DUI test in California does not necessarily mean you will be convicted on DUI charges. A DUI lawyer in Los Angeles may be able to dispute the results of your BAC test by arguing that:
- The police officer did not administer the test properly
- The test was not completed properly by laboratory technicians
- The results of your test were inconclusive or inaccurate
Some BAC assessments, such as the breathalyzer, have a reputation for providing inaccurate results. A lawyer could argue that your BAC was not actually over the legal limit when you were stopped, which could help you successfully resolve a DUI accusation. Getting legal help quickly increases your odds of discrediting BAC test results, so contact us now.
Work with the Professionals to Review Your Rights with DUI Blood Tests
You do have the right to refuse a DUI blood test in some situations in California. However, there are situations that require you to complete these tests. In either case, the professionals at the Simmrin Law Group can help you. Allow our DUI lawyers in Los Angeles to assist you following a DUI arrest, starting with a FREE initial case evaluation.
Call (310) 896-2723 or fill out our online contact form to learn more about your legal options.