At some point we all have gone through a DUI checkpoint and thought to ourselves, “What would happen if I refused to take a breath test?” Technically speaking you don’t have to submit to a blood or breath test at a checkpoint or even if you are pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving. However, there can be serious consequences if you don’t.
If you have a driver’s license in California, you’ve already given consent to take a blood or breath test. By choosing to operate a vehicle, you have given what’s known as implied consent and consequently refusing the test can carry extra penalties. If there is probable cause to arrest you for a DUI and you refuse a blood or breath test, you can face a one year suspension of your license and a nine month DUI program on top of the DUI penalties.
With that said, you are not required to submit to a Breathalyzer in what’s known as a “preliminary alcohol screening”, which occurs before you are under arrest. This is merely a technicality since if you refuse, you most likely will be placed under arrest and then you are required to take it.
Ultimately, in most cases you should take a blood or alcohol test. Refusing to do so, will most likely end up with you being arrested and required to take one anyway. Additionally, refusing to take one can only hurt your eventual defense as it will most likely be used against you in court. If you do submit to taking a blood or breath test, your attorney can then challenge the findings in your defense.
If you do find yourself in trouble from a DUI, give us a call at (619) 630-8529.