What Happens When You Refuse a Breathalyzer in California? | Crowell Law Offices

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What Happens When You Refuse a Breathalyzer in California?

What Happens When You Refuse a Breathalyzer in California?

When a police officer in California stops you under the suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), they might administer a field test or arrest you right away if you are allegedly displaying evident signs of impaired driving.

This is known as preliminary alcohol screening (PAS), and you have the right to refuse a field test unless you are below 21 years of age. However, if arrested, you’ll be required to take a chemical test that’ll check for the percentage of alcohol concentration in your blood. 

Most people usually wonder whether they can say no to this test. If you do, what’ll happen when you refuse a breathalyzer? As a motorist, you might be at liberty to refuse a breathalyzer, but this will have consequences on your driving privilege. This is why it might be better to call a DUI lawyer in California immediately if you are arrested for a DUI so that you can make informed decisions moving forward.  

Penalty for Refusing a Breathalyzer Test in California

When you receive your driver’s license in California, you automatically agree to routine blood alcohol concentration (BAC) tests. This is known as implied consent

Declining to take the test will come with a refusal charge in addition to the DUI charges, as well as other consequences. If this is your first DUI, you’ll get a one-year license suspension and 48 extra hours in jail. The length of license suspension and amount of extra time to spend in jail will then increase with subsequent DUIs.  

What Can I Do If I Refused a Breathalyzer?

If you were charged with a DUI and refused a breathalyzer in California, the next thing you should do to improve your situation is speak with a DUI defense lawyer. Besides the penalties that come with not taking the test, refusal charges can also make you look guilty before a judge, especially if you don’t have an attorney representing you.

A lawyer may be able to fight refusal charges by challenging the procedure or arguing an officer’s failure to inform you that the test is mandatory.    

Talk to a DUI Defense Lawyer

Arrested for DUI and wondering what your next actions should be? Consider speaking with a DUI defense lawyer in California immediately before making any decisions that might hurt your case. 

An attorney from Crowell Law Offices can compile evidence, build a defense, and negotiate on your behalf to ensure a favorable outcome and possibly even get your charges dismissed. Give us a call at 916-303-2800 or fill out the contact form below to schedule your free consultation with our DUI lawyers.