Should I consent to a test in a DUI?
Should I consent to a chemical test to determine my blood alcohol concentration? In the State of California, as in almost all states, a driver is required to submit to a chemical test of his blood, breath or urine upon request of the police officer. The consequences of refusing to submit vary from state to state.
Generally, using the State of California as an example, the following adverse consequences can occur:
- Your drivers license will be suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles for 1, 2 or 3 years depending upon the circumstances and significantly, whether or not you have prior DUI convictions. This drivers license suspension may even be upheld if you are subsequently found not guilty of the drunk driving charge. There is no restricted license available for a refusal.
- In the trial of the drunk driving charge in a court of law, your refusal will in all probability be introduced by the prosecution as evidence of your “consciousness of guilt”. Without a doubt, however, a competent criminal defense attorney will offer other reasons for your refusal. The decision to refuse a chemical test is one not to be made lightly. If you believe that submitting to a chemical test will produce evidence of a high blood alcohol concentration, must be weighed by an individual against the consequences for refusing to submit.
We have distinguished on this website between non-evidentiary tests, which are usually field breathalyzers or PAS devices, and evidentiary breath or blood tests.
The first kind, the PAS testing, is optional, just like all field sobriety tests are. However, the evientiary test, whether blood or breath, is mandatory, or you suffer the court punishment above, and the driver’s license suspension described above.
If you have questions about whether or not you should consent to a breath or blood test in a DUI, contact us anytime at (877) 942-3090.