Are Breath Tests Required By Law?
You are not required to submit to field sobriety tests requested by a police officer as indicated by state law. However, you are required to take a blood or breath test or you will face automatic license suspension and other serious issues. To avoid confusion about California’s complex DUI laws, you must be fully informed as to your rights and privileges. It is important to know how to respond when confronted with a police officer and a possible DUI charges. If you’ve already been charged with a DUI, call our office right away to get expert DUI defense attorneys on your side.
California’s Implied Consent Law
Before a police officer can pull you over and order you to take a breath test, they first have to obtain probable cause that you are driving under the influence. You must show signs of intoxication behind the wheel. Once you are pulled over, you must be tested both cognitively and physically to determine if you still show signs of impairment. There is a point in this stage where the police officer may ask you to submit to a field breath test. When asked, this breath test you may refuse to take, as its only purpose is to establish probable cause for a DUI arrest. However, once you are placed under arrest for a DUI, California employs an “implied consent” law. If the police officer completed the arrest lawfully and with just cause, you must be taken directly to a police station and observed for 15 minutes. After this period, you must be formally breath tested. Blood tests and urine tests are also available. You do not have any rights as far as an attorney goes at this stage. You cannot consult your lawyer on whether or not you should take the test, though you can refuse, with penalties.
What Happens If You Refuse?
Refusal to submit to a breath test at this point will result in at least a one year license suspension and possible jail time, especially if you go on to be convicted of a DUI. If the officer arrested you on DUI charges, chances are they probably have more than just a suspicion that you will be convicted of driving under the influence. Every time you refuse to take the test, you face a fine. If it is your second refusal and you have any reckless driving or DUI related issues on your record, you will lose your license for two years. If it is your third refusal and you have a past DUI charge on your record, you will lose your license for three years. By hiring our highly trained DUI defense attorneys, you get the assurance that you’re represented by the best. Our staff can call into question the legitimacy of the prosecution’s evidence. For instance, sometimes police officers become frustrated if during a breath test you aren’t blowing hard enough, so they mark down that you refused to take the test. This is illegal and incorrect. Our attorneys will fight for your rights in the court system so that your DUI charges are dropped or lessened.
Get Help From an Experienced Attorney
Refusing a breath test will not help your case before a judge. If you submit to the breath test, you still might not be convicted of a DUI, depending on your situation and the results. What will always help your case is employing an experienced DUI defense lawyer to help you overcome this obstacle. If you’ve found yourself in a situation where you have DUI charges filed against you and you need immediate assistance, a highly trained DUI defense lawyer’s skills are extremely valuable. Navigating the court system with DUI charges is not an easy task to complete on your own. Trust the wisdom of a DUI defense lawyer who’s been there with past clients many times.