DUI Refusal Cases
Upon an arrest for DUI in California, the arresting officer is under a legal obligation to advise an arrestee of his or her obligation to submit to either a blood test or a breath test. The suspect has the choice of test but does not legally have the right to refuse a test.
If a suspect decides to decline a chemical test, the arresting officer should read the required chemical test admoniton which explains that a person must submit to a test without the right to consult with an attorney and that the consequences of a refusal could lead to a one to three year license suspension and the possiblity of jail time upon conviction for a DUI.
The law in California allows an arresting officer to use reasonable force to take a blood sample without a persons consent. In Los Angeles County, arresting agencies do not normally force a blood sample, but merely cite the suspect for DUI with a refusal enhancement based on the other evidence including the driving pattern, performance of field sobriety tests and objective symptoms of impairment. In the absence of a good explanation, the fact of the refusal can also be used as evidence against the defendant in Court. In Orange County, some arresting agencies, including Irvine and Newport Beach Police Departments, have a reputation of using force to take a blood sample in a refusal case.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Orange County or Los Angeles and have refused to submit to a test, you are facing additional DMV and Court penalties and it becomes even more important that you consult with a DUI Attorney with experience in how to avoid a lengthy license suspension and jail time at Court.