California enforces what is known as implied consent in cases involving driving under the influence (DUI). True to the term, it is implied that California drivers give their consent to submit to a chemical test (breath, blood, or urine) for the purposes of determining their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) – when law enforcement asks them to.
Under California VC § 23612, implied consent means that any person who drives a motor vehicle has given their consent to chemical testing of their breath, blood, or urine (for the detection of drugs) when stopped under suspicion of DUI.
But, when drivers refuse to provide a sample of their blood or breath when asked to during a DUI stop, they violate California’s implied consent law and will be subjected to an automatic driver's license suspension.
Penalties for Refusing a Chemical Test
If you refused a chemical test, the terms and length of your potential suspension will depend on the circumstances surrounding your arrest and criminal history, as well as your age. For drivers 21 years of age or older who refused a chemical test:
- First refusal: 1 year license suspension
- Second refusal within 10 years: 2 years revocation
- Third or subsequent refusal within 10 years: 3 years revocation
Under 21 and refused a chemical test, including a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test: a one year driver’s license suspension for the first refusal.
What if I refuse the PAS test?
Prior to an actual DUI arrest, there is no penalty or refusing a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test, UNLESS you are under 21 or on probation for a prior DUI convictions. However, once you are arrested for DUI, if you do not submit to a chemical test, your license will be suspended automatically for refusing.
All DUI cases handled by the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. are evaluated thoroughly and each aspect of the arrest is given its due attention. If you were recently been arrested for DUI and refused a chemical test, working with an experienced and diligent attorney can help you deal with the added difficulties of the case.
To learn more about your case, defense, and how our Orange County DUI lawyers can help, call (949) 537-2202 to schedule a free case evaluation!