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Should I Refuse To Take a Breathalyzer Test?

Posted on March 30, 2013 by Mintzer Law

The following is a guest post post and may not reflect the opinions of Rand Mintzer, Attorney at Law.

The law demands that police officers must have a reasonable suspicion before stopping you for drunk-driving. Courts employ various factors to know if the arresting officer had a concrete reason to stop you. In many occasions, the basis is derived from erratic driving. Some reasonable claims officers use are: changing lines without a reason, driving with a turn signal without turning and many more.

Generally, if the officer has a reasonable belief that you are drunk-driving, he will initiate a DUI investigation which includes determining if you are driving while intoxicated. This is meant to gather evidence to arrest suspected drunk drivers. This investigation warrants that the officer request a driver to submit to chemical testing like the breathalyzer for the police officer to measure Blood Alcohol Content level. Drivers can choose to go for blood test or a breath test in California, but breath test is the most common DUI test employed generally.

It is critical for residents to know that there is an implied consent law which is applicable in cases of DUI. Implied consents means, an individual is considered to have agreed to a chemical test, blood or breath. So when an officer pulls an individual over for a reasonable drunk driving suspicion, for blood alcohol content measurement, refusal to submit to this testing may call for harsher penalties.

Several penalties may be imposed for refusal to submit to Blood Alcohol Content test

under California law, when a person refuses to submit to a blood test or breathe test. The California Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) can suspend the person’s driving license for a given period of time. This period depends on varieties of factors including: prior drinking convictions or the age of the individual. Also, in the event that you refuse to have a chemical test, your refusal evidence can be introduced in a court of law as a tactic to show that you have consciousness of guilt, and that you were drunk at that specific time you were driving the vehicle.

In extreme situations, police officers may try to force people to submit to blood test. However, certain conditions must be met before a person is forced to have a blood test. You can consult with an attorney to know your rights in the event you don’t submit to a chemical test.

Refusal to submit to a chemical test or a failed chemical test does not imply that an individual goes to jail. Several defenses are available for fighting the case including illegal arrest, the arresting officer did not advise you of the legal impacts of refusal, to defective testing device. Besides, when a person takes prescribed medications before administration of the chemical test, there is high possibility of errors in the results of chemical or blood test. With an experienced DUI attorney, thorough investigations into the case can uncover problems regarding the case against you. This can greatly assist an individual to avoid the penalties that come with refusal to submit to a chemical test.

About The Author:

Christopher J. McCann is a practicing DUI lawyer Fullerton at the law offices of Christopher J. McCann, who was recently awarded his 6th SuperLawyers Magazine “Rising Star” award. You can follow Chris tweets at @cjm_law_firm