What happens If you Refuse a Blood or Breath Test?

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In California, if you’re pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol, the officer will likely ask you to take a blood or urine test to determine your Blood Alcohol Concentration. The law states that a BAC of .08 percent or more means you are driving under the influence, and you can face severe penalties including the suspension of your license, fines and even jail time.

While people often wonder what would happen if they refused to take the blood or breath test, in most cases, refusing to comply with the officer’s request is a bad idea.

Implied Consent in California

Most drivers are unaware, but when you first obtained your California driver’s license , you gave your “implied consent” to submit to a blood, breath or urine test in the event you are arrested for a DUI. That means that if you refuse to submit to the test after being arrested, you should expect to face the following penalties:

  • License suspension. For the first refusal, you will receive a one-year license suspension, and two years for the second.
  • Education. You will be required to attend a nine-month DUI program.
  • Fines. You’ll face a fine of $125.
  • Note. All of this will be in addition to the penalties you’ll receive if convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Remember, you are only required to take a blood or urine test after you have been arrested. Implied consent law does not make it mandatory to comply to a hand-held Breathalyzer test during the actual DUI stop. However, refusing to take the Breathalyzer could give officers probable cause to arrest you, in which case you must submit to a blood or breath test.

Refusing a blood or breath test to avoid a DUI charge is not a recommended course of action. Not only will you face harsh penalties, but if your case goes to court the jury could interpret your refusal to comply as an admission of guilt.

Having a DUI on your record carries severe consequences. That is why it is important to contact a Monterey DUI attorney who can help you dismiss or reduce the charges.

Contact an experienced DUI attorney in California

At Giuliano Law, we have over two decades of experience helping people fight DUI charges. If you’ve been charged with a DUI in California, give us a call today at (831) 372-4003 or contact us online. We serve clients in Hollister, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Monterey County.

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