When you’re arrested for DUI you will be ordered to take either a blood or breath test. Refusing this test is a normal response, but unfortunately, it’s also illegal. This is because California law says that you agreed to take the test in advance—the day you got your driver’s license. By refusing during your arrest, you are essentially breaking the law.
The only exception to this is if you have a medical reason that you cannot take one of the tests. For example, if you have hemophilia and your blood does not clot normally, it would be dangerous for you to take a blood test. But this just means you don’t have to take the specific test that’s dangerous for you. The hemophiliac, for example, would just be given the breath test instead.
If you refused the test, the DUI sentence you face is steeper. It adds the following penalties onto first, second and third DUI’s respectively:
- 2 extra days in jail
- Mandatory 1 year license suspension
- 9 month DUI school (instead of the normal 3 month class)
- 96 additional hours in jail
- Mandatory 2 year license suspension
Third or Subsequent DUI
- 10 extra days in jail
- Mandatory 3 year license suspension
However, just because you are charged with refusal doesn’t mean it will hold up. A good DUI lawyer will work to see if the refusal can be challenged. The most common reason for this is when the police don’t inform you of the consequences of refusal. They are required to inform you when they instruct you to take the test. If they didn’t, the refusal won’t hold up.
It’s also possible to get rid of the refusal as part of a plea bargain, which substantially reduces your sentence. If your lawyer makes it clear that they are prepared to fight every step of the way, the prosecutor may offer to remove the refusal charge in order to avoid a prolonged court process.
If you refused to take the blood or breath test, it’s essential that you speak to an experienced DUI lawyer. We have built network of top DUI attorneys that will offer you a FREE consultation on your case. Simply fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.