Forced Blood Tests in DUI Cases
For a suspect arrested for a DUI in California, the law requires that the police inform them that they have no right to refuse to submit to a breath or a blood test and that if they refuse to submit to a test, the refusal may lead to enhanced penalties including a longer license suspension and jail time if convicted. A DUI suspect may choose a breath or a blood test, unless one of those tests is not available, in which case the suspect must consent to the remaining test.
This occurs most frequently if a person is injured and taken to a hospital. In this case, it is not practicable to take a breath sample and a suspect is required to submit to a blood test. In addition, if a breath machine does not work for whatever reason or a suspect is unable to blow sufficient air into the machine to reach a reading, the suspect must then consent to a blood test.
If the case goes to jury trial, the jury would also be instructed by the judge that the refusal may be seen as evidence against the defendant as showing "consciousness of guilt".