Can I refuse to submit to a breath or blood test in California?

Can I refuse to submit to a breath or blood test in California?

| Oct 6, 2020 | Uncategorized

Being pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving is a position no one in Sonoma County wants to find themselves in. Officers in such situations may ask you to submit to a breath test or blood test to determine your blood-alcohol concentration. However, can you refuse to submit to such tests?

“Implied consent” under California law

First, it is important to understand implied consent laws in California. Basically, as part of the privilege of driving in the state, you implicitly agree to submit to a breath or blood test if an officer lawfully requests so upon pulling you over on suspicion of drunk driving.

Do I have to submit to chemical tests?

That being said, you do have the right to refuse to submit to a breath or blood test when pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. However, doing so has consequences.

If you are age 21 or above when you are arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, and you refused to submit to a breath or blood test, your driver’s license will be suspended for one year if it is your first offense. If it is your second offense within 10 years, your driver’s license will be suspended for two years. If it is your third or subsequent offense within 10 years, your driver’s license will be suspended for three years.

Think carefully before refusing to submit to a chemical test

As this shows, it is important to think carefully before refusing to submit to a chemical test when pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. While you may have a good reason for refusing the test, losing your driver’s license can impact your life in a significant way. After all, most of us rely on being able to drive to work, take our children to school, run errands and get to appointments. This post does not contain legal advice, so if you have further questions about chemical test refusals in California, it is important to seek the assistance needed to better understand this legal topic.