If You Refuse A Breath, Blood Or Urine Test Can You Still Be Found Guilty Of A DUI?

If you are pulled over on suspicion of DUI in California then you become subject to the Implied Consent DUI Law. This means that simply by driving a vehicle you have consented to chemical testing if you are lawfully arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drink or drugs. This means that you are legally obliged to be tested once you have been arrested.

It’s important to note that this does not apply to the preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) breath test, unless you are under the age of 21 or you are already on probation, having been convicted of a previous DUI offence. The PAS breath test is a field sobriety test like several others and for most drivers there is no penalty if you refuse to take it. As we have already mentioned, the situation is very different once you are under arrest. Let’s take a look at what can happen if you refuse to take a breath, blood or urine test. Can you still be convicted and what additional penalties might you face?

What happens if you refuse to take a breath, blood or urine test?

In the vast majority of Californian DUI arrests the driver is given the choice of having a breath or blood test. Urine tests are only available in limited circumstances. If you are arrested on suspicion of DUI you should be able to choose between having a blood test and having a breath test. That being said, there are times when the police can insist that you submit to a blood test, such as if they believe drugs are involved or if they believe the result of a breath test is incorrect.

If you refuse to submit to a chemical test following your arrest you face additions to your sentence should you be convicted. These additions are as follows:

  • If you have no previous DUI convictions – An additional 48 hours of jail time and six additional months of DUI school. Your license will also be suspended for one year.
  • If you have one previous DUI conviction – An additional 96 hours of jail time and your license will be revoked for two years.
  • If you have two previous DUI convictions – An additional 10 days of jail time and your license will be revoked for three years.
  • If you have three or more previous DUI convictions – An additional 18 days of jail time and your license will be revoked for three years.

Given these potential additions to a sentence why would anyone want to refuse the test?

Why people refuse a chemical test

Although it’s illegal to refuse to submit to a breath test or blood test following an arrest for DUI many people do so in the hope that there may be insufficient evidence against them. There is a possibility that a plea bargain to a California “wet reckless” may be accepted.

This is not to say that you cannot be convicted of a DUI if you do not submit to a blood test or breath test. The outcome of the case depends on the evidence and the statements of people such as the arresting officer. It’s also important to remember that your refusal to submit to the test can be submitted as evidence.

If you are arrested on suspicion of DUI you should seek help from an Orange County Criminal & DUI Attorney who can provide you with advice and support you need to get the best possible outcome for you.