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Practices > Riverside and Orange County DUI Lawyers > Refusing a Blood or Breath Test

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Riverside, Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino & San Diego Counties

In California, the “implied consent” law requires that after being arrested for a DUI, you must provide a blood or breath sample to determine whether you were actually under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both at the time of driving.

Specifically, it states that:

"Any person who drives a motor vehicle is deemed to have given his or her consent to chemical testing of his or her blood or breath for the purposes of determining the alcoholic content of his or her blood, if lawfully arrested for any offense allegedly committed in violation of [the California DUI laws]."

What many people do not know when they are in the process of being investigated for a possible DUI, is that this test must be done after he/she has been arrested. Often times, an officer will ask a suspect to breathe into a portable device before he/she has actually been placed under arrest. This is known as a preliminary alcohol screening or “PAS.” The officer is supposed to tell you that this is an optional test, but they often omit that part and just ask a suspect to blow into the device. When asked to then perform another breath or blood test later, some people will refuse, stating that they already did one earlier. Be aware however, when refusing one of these devices after an arrest. Many counties in Southern California, agencies have recently begun using what’s known as an “EPAS” (evidentiary preliminary alcohol screening) device. The EPAS can be utilized for either the preliminary alcohol screening that is optional, or the evidentiary chemical test that is required.

Under the implied consent law, you must provide a breath or blood sample after you have been told you are under arrest and/or placed under arrest. Any person who is arrested for DUI and subsequently refuses a chemical test will still be charged with DUI, but will also be charged with a "refusal enhancement" as well. Statutorily, the refusal enhancement can increase the DUI penalties by imposing additional, and much more jail time on the offender.

A good defense lawyer will fight the refusal allegation. The refusal may be refuted at both the DMV hearing and in court as well. If it is not refuted, the DMV will seek to automatically suspend your license for a year and the courts will force you to spend a lot of time in jail or doing community service, caltrans, electronic monitoring, etc…

At WILL & WILL, LLP, our team of former prosecutors and experienced defense attorneys are skilled at fighting refusal allegations. We will first try to attempt negotiating with the D.A. to effectuate a plea bargain that does not further punish you for refusing a chemical test. If that fails, we will discuss your options at trial with you. Either way, when you have WILL & WILL, LLP on your side, there’s always a way!

Call us or fill out our online contact form to discuss your DUI case with one of our lawyers today.

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