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What Happens When You Refuse a Chemical Test?

If You Choose to Refuse, You Have a Lot to Lose

In California, it is illegal to refuse to take chemical tests when you are pulled over on suspicion of DUI. Thus, when an officer pulls you over and asks you to take a blood and/or breath test, it’s in your best interests to follow their orders or else you may lose your freedom. By not submitting to taking these chemical tests, you could risk your driving privileges, livelihood and reputation, all of which are vital.

In these situations, it’s not worth it to put your future on the line by saying “no” to chemical testing. Even if you are completely sober and think the officer is being unreasonable in their requests, your non-compliant actions could be used as evidence against you.

CA Implied Consent Laws

California’s implied consent laws state that “A person who drives a motor vehicle is deemed to have given their consent to chemical testing of their blood or breath for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of their blood …” which essentially means that by getting behind the wheel, you are automatically permitting law enforcement officers to administer chemical tests if you get pulled over. If a blood test is unavailable, you may be required to take a urine test.

Penalties for Refusing Chemical Tests

Your DUI penalties can be enhanced if you refuse chemical testing. The punishments you would typically face can expand to include longer jail time, higher fines and extended license suspension.

First DUI offense

  • Participation in a 9-month alcohol program
  • 1-year license suspension

Second DUI offense within 10 years

  • 96 hours in county jail
  • 2-year license suspension

Third DUI within 10 years

  • 10 days in county jail
  • 3 or more years of license suspension

Prevent the Added Stress & Just Say “Yes”

Don’t make the costly mistake of refusing a chemical test. There is too much to lose, including your freedom, driving privileges and reputation. Without a driver’s license, you can’t commute to work, school and anywhere you desire to go unless you use public transportation or ridesharing. Besides the inconvenience of these punishments, you can also suffer a bad reputation if your peers find out about your non-compliant actions.

Our DUI defense attorneys have a combined 40+ years of experience helping good people avoid messy situations. Our mission is to educate and defend clients throughout their DUI cases, so they are always prepared for unexpected situations in and out of court.

Please request your free consultation online or by calling (805) 467-6060 now!