Can You Refuse a Breath Test If Pulled Over for DUI?
January 17, 2020

Traffic stops are stressful events. You see red lights flashing in your mirror, hear the sirens, and the intimidating demand to pull over from the voice coming through the cruiser’s speaker. Add to this that you probably have no idea why you are being stopped, and you have the ingredients for a situation in which you might inadvertently waive your constitutional rights.

One of the most common mistakes people make in a DUI traffic stop in Riverside County is assuming that you must always submit to a breath test. The truth is that you are not always required to do so.

The Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) Breath Test

If you are stopped for a suspected DUI, but before you have not been arrested, the officer might request that you submit to a PAS breath test. The officer is supposed to inform you (but rarely do) that this test is voluntary, unless you are under the age of 21 or are on probation for a previous DUI. This means if you have not been arrested yet, are over the age of 21 and not on probation for a previous DUI, you have the right to refuse this test.

If you are under the age of 21, refusal will mean that you lose your license for a year. If you are on probation, refusal might be considered a violation of your probation.

California’s Implied Consent Law

The law changes, however, once the officer places you under arrest for suspicion of DUI. By obtaining a driver’s license in California, you are giving your consent to a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) if you are arrested on suspicion of DUI. This means that if you have been arrested for a DUI in Riverside County, and you then refuse a chemical test of your blood, breath, or urine, you could face additional penalties, including a one-year suspension of your license.

It is important to know that a recent case now states the police do not need a warrant for a blood test when:

  • The officer orders your blood to be tested to measure your BAC; and
  • You freely and voluntarily choose a blood test over a breath test.

How a Riverside DUI Attorney Can Help

Whether you refused a test prior to an arrest, or after being arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, an experienced Riverside County DUI defense attorney can help with your case. Your attorney can examine the facts surrounding the traffic stop and challenge the validity of the officer’s request that you to submit to a breath test.

Contact the Riverside County DUI Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich For Immediate Help with Your DUI Case

If you have been arrested on suspicion of DUI in Riverside County, do not hesitate to speak with an experienced defense attorney. The attorneys of Wallin & Klarich have more than 35 years of experience in successfully defending against DUI charges, including the refusal to submit to a breath test. We know how to raise challenges to the officer’s reasoning for pulling you over, and we have decades of experience in challenging violations of your constitutional rights. Let us help you find the best possible outcome in your case. Contact us today for a free, no obligation phone consultation.

With offices in Los Angeles, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney near you, no matter where you work or live. 

Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.

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