Can You Be Forced to Take a Portable Breath Test?

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When you drive in California, you are “deemed” to have consented to the chemical testing of your blood, urine, and breath to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). Although you cannot be forced to take a breath test, under California’s implied consent law, if you are lawfully arrested, you do no have the right to refuse to take the test. If you do refuse, there is a mandatory one year suspension of your driver’s license. Also, your refusal can be used against you in court if you are charged with a DUI. Further, if you are found guilty of DUI, you can be penalized more harshly than if you had agreed to take the breath test voluntarily.


Penalties For Failing to Take a Breath Test

If you are found guilty of DUI, there are additional penalties that apply if you also refused to take the breath test. The penalties for failing to take a breath test increase with the number of prior DUI conviction you have. If this is your first DUI arrest, you will receive an additional 48 hours in jail and be required to attend DUI school for 9 months. If you have had one prior DUI, additional jail time increases to 96 hours and your driver’s license is suspended for 2 years. With 2 prior DUI convictions your jail time is increased to 10 days, and your license suspension to 3 years. Three or more prior DUIs will get you an additional 18 days in jail and a three-year driver’s license suspension.


Presumption of Innocence

Just because you are charged with refusal to take a breath test doesn’t mean that you are guilty. Your DUI defense attorney can challenge whether or not your DUI arrest was legal. Also, the arresting officer must advise you of the consequences of refusing to take a breath test such as losing your driver’s license.


Being accused of DUI with the additional allegation that you refused a breath test is a serious crime. At The Kavinoky Law Firm, we have helped thousands of California drivers get their DUI with refusal charges reduced or dismissed. When it comes to California DUI defense, experience counts. Make a call to The Kavinoky Law Firm your first phone call after being arrested and charged with DUI.

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