Orange County's DUI Queen
Our DUI Blog Stay Current With DUI Related News

Chemical Test Refusal in California

In the United States, all 50 states have established that the legal limit is .08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC). This means that if a driver’s BAC registers .08% or higher, he or she commits the offense of driving under the influence (DUI). However, commercial drivers and underage drivers (under 21-years-of-age) are held to a higher standard.

In California, it’s against the law for commercial drivers to operate a commercial vehicle with a BAC of .04% and for underage drivers, they cannot drive with any detectable alcohol in their system under California’s “zero tolerance law.”

When a driver is suspected of driving under the influence, his or her BAC can be measured by one of the following:

  • A breath test
  • A blood sample
  • Urine sample (less common)

Under 23612(a)(1)(A) of the California Vehicle Code, all individuals who drive motor vehicles in California are deemed to have given their consent to provide a blood or breath sample if suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both. If a blood test is unavailable, then the person is assumed to have given consent to a urine test.

Can a DUI Suspect Choose the Test?

When suspects are lawfully arrested for DUI, they have the right to choose between a blood or breath test. However, if the person is unconscious or otherwise incapable of refusing a chemical test, a test may be administered regardless of the person’s condition.

When a police officer asks a DUI suspect to submit to a chemical test, the officer is supposed to inform the suspect that their failure to complete or submit to a chemical test will result in an automatic one-year license suspension.

Are you facing DUI charges in Orange County? If so, contact our firm to schedule a FREE consultation with OC’s DUI Queen!