Orange County DUI Defense: Refusal

Posted on: August 11th, 2014 by Daniel Grupenhagen 1 Comment

What Happens If I Refuse the Breath Test in Orange County?

Orange County DUIIn Orange County California, a motorist faces serious penalties if convicted of driving under the influence, or DUI. In an attempt to avoid a conviction, many drivers refuse to submit to the chemical test. What many drivers fail to realize is that failing or refusing a chemical test comes with its own penalty. Moreover, the prosecution can obtain a conviction for Orange County DUI without results from a chemical test – though it does help the prosecution if they have test results showing the accused was clearly over the legal limit.

Like all states, California law makes it a crime to operate a motor vehicle with a blood/breath alcohol concentration, or BAC, of  0.08 percent or greater. What many people do not realize, however, is that V C Section 23152 “Driving Under Influence of Alcohol or Drugs” also makes it illegal “for a person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage to drive a vehicle.” Therefore, the results of a breath or blood test are not required to obtain a conviction – though there is no doubt that they are helpful. So what happens if you refuse the breath or blood test?

California has an implied consent law that essentially says that any driver who is operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway and who is arrested for suspicion of DUI consents to a chemical test. Though the implied consent law exists, it does not mean that you are required to submit to a chemical test. If you refuse a breath test, the police must obtain a warrant to forcefully take blood from you (recent case Missouri v. McNeely (2013) Docket 11-1425).

In Orange County DUI, your driving privileges will be administratively suspended for one year if you refuse a breath or blood test and you were over the age of 21 at the time of your arrest and this was your first refusal. Refusing a second time within a ten year period means a two year suspension while a third refusal within the same ten year period will result in losing your driving privileges for three years. Note that these penalties are in addition to any loss of your driving privileges if you are ultimately convicted of the DUI.

Orange County DUI Defense

If you have been accused of refusing, or failing to complete, a breath or blood test subsequent to a DUI arrest you do have the right to fight the refusal penalties if you do not feel that you refused or intentionally failed to complete the test. Consult with an experienced Orange County DUI attorney about your options if you have been accused of refusing a breath test.

Call for consultation for your Orange County DUI case

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