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Can I Refuse a Breath Test After a DUI Arrest


Individuals who are under suspicion of DUI will be asked to take a breath test, a form of a chemical test. These are different from field sobriety tests and it is important to know the laws pertaining to this situation.

If you refuse to submit to a DUI breath test after a lawful arrest for a drunk driving suspicion, there are penalties you will face under California law. The state has an “implied consent” law which means that by driving in California, you are required to consent to a breath test.

Implied consent law applies to breath, blood, and urine tests. The breath test is commonly the test administered, however.

What Happens if I Refuse?

There are several penalties for refusing to submit to a breath test. The first is the increased penalties added onto the DUI penalties you will already face with a DUI conviction in California. A mandatory driver’s license suspension will also be imposed on the alleged offender at once.

It is advised that you do submit to the breath test at the station once you have been lawfully arrested. Under the law, you are required to take it and the penalties are harsh for a refusal.

About the Preliminary Alcohol Screening

Whether or not you should submit to a breath test also depends on which breath test you are being asked to take. The Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) is administered alongside the road. The officer will have you blow into a handheld device. This test, similarly to roadside sobriety tests, is optional and you do have the right to refuse it.

If you have questions about any aspect of DUI and would like to speak with one of our Santa Barbara DUI attorneys, we are available to talk! Our firm offers free criminal consultations to help guide you through, so call today.

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