Drivers who are stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) in California may be asked to take a chemical test. This test can measure their blood alcohol content (BAC), which can lead to a DUI arrest. Drivers who don’t agree to take the test can be accused of a DUI refusal.
Find out exactly what a DUI refusal is with this article. Review legal regulations on DUI tests and California’s implied consent laws with the Simmrin Law Group. Call us at (310) 896-2723 if you failed a BAC test and need help building a defense to DUI charges.
Refusing a BAC Test Can Enhance DUI Penalties
A DUI refusal in California acts as a sentencing enhancement to DUI charges. The court system uses Vehicle Code Section 23612: Refusal Enhancement to penalize drivers who refuse to participate in a legally ordered BAC test.
According to VC 23612, drivers are legally required to complete a BAC test if they are legally arrested. Additionally, some drivers must complete BAC testing before an arrest. A driver must always go along with BAC testing if they are:
- Under the age of 21
- On DUI probation
All drivers in California provide “implied consent” to take BAC tests when they get behind the wheel. This means the driver preemptively agrees to take legally ordered BAC assessments.
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Penalties for a DUI Refusal in California
Refusal to take a BAC test when so ordered by a law enforcement officer can have serious legal consequences. Refusal enhancements in California can increase the amount of time a driver has to spend in jail if convicted of a DUI. Drivers may face an additional:
- Two days in jail if they refuse a BAC test for their first DUI
- Eight days in jail if they refuse a BAC test for their second DUI
- Ten days in jail if they refuse a BAC test for their third DUI
- Eighteen days in jail if they refuse a BAC test for subsequent DUIs
Additionally, refusing to complete a BAC test for a first DUI can lead to the automatic suspension of a driver’s license for one year. Subsequent refusals can result in:
- A two-year license revocation for a second DUI
- Three-Year license revocation for subsequent DUIs
Make sure you take a DUI refusal charge seriously by contacting a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles immediately after your arrest. You can begin working on your defense now by calling (310) 896-2723.
DUI Refusal and Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) Tests
All drivers who are arrested for a DUI are required to submit to BAC testing. The regulations are slightly different when it comes to PAS tests. PAS testing occurs before an arrest. Generally, law enforcement officers use a breathalyzer device to conduct a PAS examination.
Drivers may be able to legally refuse a PAS test in some situations if they are:
- Over the age of 21
- Not on DUI probation
A law enforcement officer is required to tell a driver if they are legally obligated to complete a chemical test or not. If a driver is informed that they must legally comply with the test, refusal is not advised.
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Legal Defenses for a DUI Refusal in California
If you are accused of refusing a BAC test in California, you can get help building a defense by contacting a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles. The team at the Simmrin Law Group can dig into your specific situation. Your lawyer could construct your defense by showing that:
- You were not told about the consequences of refusing a BAC test
- You were unable to perform the test for medical reasons
- You were stopped and arrested unlawfully
In these situations, a lawyer may be able to get a refusal enhancement dismissed, reducing the penalties you’d face if convicted of a DUI. You should also be aware that a legal professional can dispute the results of a BAC test.
Your lawyer may be able to argue that the results of a BAC test were flawed for a number of reasons. Test results may be inaccurate if the test was performed improperly, for example. Find out more about methods to handle a failure on a BAC test by contacting us now.
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Speak to a Lawyer About a DUI Refusal in California
Drivers may be accused of a DUI refusal in California if they decline to take a BAC test after a DUI arrest. This refusal can lead to a license suspension and extra jail time if a driver is convicted. Get help handling DUI refusal accusations by reaching out to the Simmrin Law Group. Complete our online contact form or call (310) 896-2723 to get started.
You can review your options with a FREE initial case evaluation from our DUI lawyers in Los Angeles.