Bars are beginning to open up. Getting to see your friends after more than a year of COVID quarantine? Wonderful. Getting pulled over on your way home? Scary. Do you know what to do if you are pulled over under the suspicion of driving under the influence? Are you required to take a roadside breathalyzer test before an arrest? Can you face penalties if you don’t? Does this change if you are arrested? These are all important questions addressed below.
California DUI rules about taking chemical tests
In California, drivers who are at least 21 face no additional penalties from the DMV for refusing to take a roadside breath test. The same is true if you refuse to take a roadside field sobriety test. In fact, allowing the police to administer these tests may just implicate you and give the officer evidence to establish probable cause to arrest you for DUI.
However, if police arrest you and take you to the police station, you will have to take a breathalyzer test or a blood or urine test. Otherwise, you could face additional penalties. This is because of California’s implied consent laws. Implied consent means that in exchange for receiving a license to drive in California, drivers give consent to chemical testing of blood, breath, or urine should they be arrested under the suspicion of a DUI. Even if you don’t receive a DUI conviction, you could face losing your driver’s license for a few months, needing to attend DUI school and completing probation for refusing a chemical test after a DUI arrest.
When you are arrested for DUI
If police arrest you on suspicion for drunk driving, you need to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can advise you on whether you should submit to DUI chemical testing. If you already took a breathalyzer test, an attorney can review your case to see if the breath test results are accurate. They often are not.
You need to remember that you still have rights, even after a DUI arrest. An attorney can present a defense against the charges you face and help you get a positive outcome in your case.