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DUI & Chemical Test Refusal

When Californians accept their driver’s license, they agree to submit to a chemical test (blood, breath, or urine test) if an officer asks them to for the purposes of determining if they have drugs or alcohol in their blood.

However, not everyone submits to a chemical test when suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a chemical substance. Reasons why people refuse to take a chemical test during a DUI stop, include:

  • They don’t know that they are “supposed” to submit to the test.
  • They don’t understand that their license will be suspended for at least a year for refusing.
  • They know the law, but they refuse anyway.

Penalties for Refusing a Chemical Test

Under California law, you are required to submit to a chemical test in order to determine if there are drugs or alcohol in your system.

If you refuse to submit to a blood or breath test, or if you do not complete a blood or breath test after a law enforcement officer asks you to, you face the following penalties if you are 21 or older:

  • Your license will be suspended for one year (on a first offense).
  • Your license will be revoked for 2 years (second offense in 10 years).
  • Your license will be revoked for 3 years (third offense in 10 years).

If you are under 21 and your refused to submit to or complete a PAS (preliminary alcohol screening), or another chemical test, then you face the above penalties.

Generally, law enforcement uses blood and breath tests for DUI cases; urine tests are less common.

As of January 1999, urine tests stopped being used unless: the officer suspects the driver to be impaired by drugs or drugs and alcohol, a blood or breath test is unavailable, or the DUI suspect is on anticoagulant medication for a heart condition.

Did you refuse a chemical test during a DUI stop? If so, contact our Orange County DUI defense firm for an aggressive defense. Call now for a free consultation!