Can I Refuse To Take a Breathalyzer Test in California?

If you maintain a valid driver's license in California, you are required to abide by the state's implied consent law—which states that you cannot legally refuse to comply with chemical testing if a law enforcement officer is reasonably suspicious that you have been driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This includes preliminary breath testing and/or a subsequent breath, blood or urine test upon your arrest. Should you refuse, you will be subject to automatic legal penalties. For a first-time violation, your driver's license will be suspended for a period of one year. The length of the suspension will increase by one year for every subsequent violation, but the fine will always be the same ($125).

It is also important to understand that you could still be arrested for DUI even if you refuse to take a breath, blood or urine test. Although they would not have physical evidence of your blood-alcohol concentration, the prosecution could tell a jury that you failed to comply with testing because you were guilty of drunk driving. For this reason, it usually won't help you to refuse. If you were to be convicted of DUI after violating the state's implied consent law, additional DUI penalties would be imposed—including a minimum of 96 hours in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. Fortunately, there are ways to challenge the validity of BAC results even after you have taken a chemical test and failed.

Whether you were arrested for drunk driving after refusing a breathalyzer test or registering a blood-alcohol concentration of .08% or greater, the Fairfield DUI lawyers at Maas Law Offices are prepared to defend you. You are innocent until proven guilty, so there is no reason why you should wait any longer to retain the professional legal assistance that you will need to successfully fight a conviction. All you have to do is contact our office today at (800) 483-0992 to schedule a free consultation.

If you would prefer to reach us online, you can also submit a free case evaluation form directly from our website.

Categories: criminal defense, DUI