After police officers make a drunk driving arrest, they will ask the suspect to take a breath or blood test to determine his/her blood alcohol content (BAC). If the suspect has a BAC level of at least .08 percent, he/she could be charged with a DUI.

However, are DUI suspects required to take these chemical tests?

According to California’s “implied consent” law, those who drive in the state automatically consent to a breath or blood test after a DUI arrest. Although it is possible to refuse such chemical tests, doing so will result in refusal enhancement penalties that are applied on top of standard criminal penalties for a DUI conviction.

The following are the penalties for refusing a post-arrest chemical test in California:

  • First-time DUI – Driver’s license suspension not exceeding one year, up to nine months of alcohol education courses, and a jail sentence of up to 48 hours.
  • Second-time DUI – Driver’s license suspension not exceeding two years and a maximum 96-hour jail term.
  • Third-time DUI – Driver’s license suspension not exceeding three years and a maximum 10-day jail sentence.

Even if you are unconscious or suffered an injury, you are not legally excused from a DUI chemical test.

Remember, the implied consent laws only apply after the suspect is arrested for drunk driving. So, if a police officer asks you to perform a roadside breath test before the arrest, you have the right to refuse it.

If you have been charged with a DUI in Bakersfield, contact Koenig Law Office today at (661) 793-7222 and schedule a free case review.