What Are California’s DUI Implied Consent Laws?

Woman taking away keys from a man drinking

If you are ever stopped by a police officer on suspicion of DUI, there is a certain set of steps that have to happen in order for law enforcement to prove their suspicions. Most states follow the same processes, but California has specific laws pertaining to your legal rights regarding a DUI. California has an implied consent law that requires all drivers that have been lawfully arrested for a DUI to take a test to determine blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

What Does Implied Consent Mean?

This implied consent law doesn’t require drivers to submit to a chemical test before a lawful arrest, but there is implied consent that you will agree to a blood, urine or breathalyzer test after arrest. An officer that is arresting you is required by law to explain the legal consequences of refusing a test. These consequences include losing your license, fines, and jail time if convicted of a DUI. An officer might also ask you to take a voluntary “preliminary alcohol screening” (PAS) which is another form of a breathalyzer test.

Should I Ever Refuse to Take a Mandatory DUI Test?

This answer will depend on your particular circumstances upon arrest. It’s important to know that a refusal may not help you get out of a DUI conviction, and there are ways to still find you guilty without BAC test results. Be aware that in court, the jury might think that your refusal actually shows that you’re consciously guilty. Think twice before refusing a test, and remember that under California law, there is implied consent for agreement to a test once you’ve been arrested.

Our Santa Clara DUI defense attorney can help you if you are facing charges of DUI and you refused BAC testing at the scene. Contact the Law Offices of Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich today to get started on your case.

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