Orange County DUI Lawyers Explain California’s Implied Consent Law
In California, the implied consent law means that if a person drives a car in the state and is lawfully arrested for DUI, that person is deemed to have given his or her implied consent to chemical testing for blood alcohol content (BAC). Many California drivers are not aware that when you apply for a driver’s license in California, you agree to this in exchange for your right to drive on California’s roadways.
Chemical test refusal will result in license suspension
If you are lawfully arrested for DUI, you cannot refuse “chemical testing” without suffering consequences— the suspension of your driver’s license. For first offenders over the age of 21, the suspension period is one year. The suspension periods are longer if you have prior DUIs.
Arrest must be lawful
The important part of the law to note is that the arrest must be lawful. If you are arrested and refuse a chemical test, you are entitled to a hearing at the DMV to challenge the lawfulness of your arrest. There are a number of procedures that the officer has to follow to make the arrest lawful. If the officer has slipped up, it may be possible to save your license from suspension at the hearing.
Since you have only 10 days to request the hearing, it’s important to get help from an Orange County DUI as soon as possible after your arrest.
FSTs and PAS tests are not “chemical tests”
The implied consent law does not apply to field sobriety tests. Police use these tests to establish probable cause to arrest you for DUI. You can refuse to take field sobriety tests without adverse consequences. It’s often a good idea to do so since these tests of coordination are difficult for many people to perform even when sober.
Hand-held breathalyzers also do not count as “chemical tests.” If you are 21 or older, you can refuse to take a PAS and your license will not be suspended. But if you are under 21, your license can be suspended if you refuse the test.
Once a California DUI arrest is completed and a person is brought back to the police station, he or she will be required to take a breath, blood, or sometimes urine test.
Contact Orange County DUI Attorneys
If you are facing DUI charges, or have specific questions about implied consent laws or repercussions of refusing a chemical test, contact an experienced DUI lawyer. Orange County DUI lawyers at Coffey and Coffey are ready to protect your rights and preserve your driving privileges. If you have been arrested for an Orange County DUI, don’t delay seeking legal help. For a free consultation, please contact us at (800) 706-7888 today.