July 23, 2015 By Matthew Wallin
breathalyzer for driving under the influence
Can you refuse to take a breath BAC test in California?

Many people unaware or misinformed about what they’re rights are when they find themselves as the focus of a DUI investigation in California. Many people believe they have a right to refuse to submit to a breath test.  The answer to this question can be yes OR no. It depends on the situation and it is important to know that a refusal in the wrong situation could have very serious consequences on your driver’s license and potential DUI case.  If you are facing a DUI case in California you should immediately consult with an experienced criminal attorney.

Preliminary Alcohol Screening Breath Test

A preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test is a test that you can absolutely refuse to take unless you’re under 21 or are on DUI probation.  If you’re under 21 and refuse you are facing a mandatory 1-year suspension of your license.  If you’re on DUI probation and refuse this test you could face a probation violation in court.  If you’re over 21 the officer is supposed to read you an advisal that the PAS test is voluntary but they rarely do. It is usually a handheld device that is administered at the roadside.  This test is usually the last test the officer gives before arresting someone for DUI. An experienced criminal attorney should be consulted by anyone under 21 or who is on DUI probation and is facing charges relating to a refusal to submit to a PAS

Chemical Breath Test

California has an “implied consent” law which means that if you drive a vehicle in California then you have impliedly given your consent to have your breath, blood, or urine tested if you are arrested for DUI and a refusal to take a breath or blood test can result in a one year suspension of your license.   The officer by law is supposed to tell you that you have a choice of a breath or blood test.  If you initially refuse to take either test after the officer properly advises you then you are facing a one year suspension of your license.  This is true even if you change your mind and voluntarily submit to a breath or blood test later on.  It is very important to know that courts have found forced blood draws to be constitutional in California and the cops will force blood from a DUI arrestee in most cases where there is a refusal and the person is still facing a one-year suspension.

Call Wallin & Klarich Today If You Have Been Charged With DUI in California

If you have been accused of DUI, you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney to vigorously represent you. At Wallin & Klarich, we have helped people accused of this crime for over 30 years. Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL. We will be there when you call.

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