Refusing DUI Tests in Fresno
Understanding DUI Refusals & California Law. Call Now for a Free Consultation!
If you are suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) in Fresno, you will likely be asked by law enforcement to participate in a variety of tests for them to determine whether you are intoxicated.
Keep in mind that California law states that you can be arrested and charged with a DUI if you operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher, or if the officer feels that you are unable to operate a motor vehicle safely.
Pulled over for driving under the influence? Contact our attorneys today to start discussing your defense.
What Happens if I Refuse to Take a Breathalyzer?
Getting pulled over for a suspected DUI can be one of the most frightening moments in your life, as you know the consequences of driving under the influence are severe and unforgiving. Once you are pulled over, you will likely be asked to take a breathalyzer test, in which you blow into a device that checks your blood alcohol content. If you are concerned about what may happen if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test, you aren’t alone--many people refuse to take one because they don’t want to incriminate themselves with such solid proof.
However, in California, test refusal may be one of the worst decisions you can make. While you have every right to do so, it is certainly not recommended for several reasons:
- Refusing a DUI test means you will earn an automatic citation on your license, and if you have an existing record, your license may be suspended.
- Refusing a DUI breath test means you will then be forced to take a blood test, which will certainly buy you time but won’t erase the citation on your license. You may also be arrested depending on the circumstances under which you were driving.
Risking arrest is simply not worth it. Taking the DUI tests may incriminate you, but it will be an easier process to fight against if you retain the help of our aggressive and strong minded Fresno DUI defense at Wapner Jones, PC.
California's Implied Consent Law
Under state law, if you are stopped for DUI you are required to submit to chemical testing because of California's implied consent law. Under this law, a driver in California has already given their implied consent to chemical testing when applying for a California driver's license. By getting behind the wheel, you are simultaneously permitting officers to have you take breath and/or blood tests should you get pulled over.
Chemical Testing Process
The chemical test should be taken immediately after your arrest and the officer should give you the option of choosing to participate in the breath or blood test. You may also be asked to give the officer a preliminary breath sample, in addition to the other chemical test. Keep in mind that the preliminary test is not required even though the officer may tell you that it's just another field sobriety test. They will try to use your preliminary test results against you in court. However, once you are arrested, if you don't give a breath or blood sample, you may lose your driver's license for a minimum of one year.
Chemical tests will evaluate either your breath or blood (depending on the test) and will allow the officer to determine the level of alcohol in your system at the time of the traffic stop. If your blood alcohol concentration is found to be .08% or higher, you will likely be arrested and charged with DUI in Fresno.
CA Penalties for Refusing a DUI Test
If you refuse to take one or more DUI tests, you will likely face consequences. The penalties associated with refusal vary depending on whether you have refused the test before.
- Refusal with no prior DUIs: One-year suspension of your driver's license
- Refusal w/ one prior DUIs: Two-year suspension of your driver's license
- Refusal w/ two prior DUIs: Three-year suspension of your driver's license
You Need Our DUI Attorney
There are specific issues and consequences related to a DUI test refusal. If you have been arrested for DUI in Fresno and you have refused to take one or more chemical tests, you will need our experienced DUI attorneys to help guide you through your legal matters.