Since driving is considered a privilege – not a right – not
submitting to a
BAC test when suspected of a
DUI can result in driver’s license suspension, fines, and even jail time.
According to California’s “implied consent” law, if you
are lawfully arrested by a police officer who has probable cause to believe
that you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, then you
automatically consent to participate in a breath test in order to determine
your blood alcohol content (BAC). The test is performed at the time of
your arrest, and the officer should offer you a choice between a breath
and blood test.
What About Preliminary Breath Tests?
On the other hand, you
do not have to take this preliminary breath test, and the officer must say so.
There is no penalty for refusing to take a pre-arrest breath test (unless
you are under 21 years of age or on probation for a prior DUI conviction).
Unfortunately, law enforcement officers rarely present it to you as a choice.
If you do consent to a preliminary breath test, the results can be used
as evidence to convict you of a DUI.
Penalties for Refusing to Take a DUI Breath Test
If you refuse to take a DUI breath test after getting arrested, penalties
include the following:
- If you had no prior DUI convictions, your license would be suspended for
one year, and you will receive an extra 48 hours in jail.
- If you had one prior DUI conviction, your license would be revoked for
two years, and you will receive an extra 96 hours in jail.
- If you had two prior DUI convictions, your license would be revoked for
three years, and you will receive an extra ten days in jail.
- If you had three or more DUI convictions, your license would be revoked
for three years, and you will receive an extra 18 days in jail.
If you were arrested and charged with a DUI in Ventura County,
contact The Law Offices of Robert F. Sommers and request a
free consultation with our Ventura DUI lawyer today.