The California DUI law mandates that if you are lawfully arrested by an officer who has reason to believe that you’ve been driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you will be required to submit to a chemical test to gauge your blood alcohol content (BAC). This may be breath, blood or urine. While you are required to take a chemical test you are not required to take a preliminary alcohol screening test (PAS) at the scene of the arrest.
What should the officer tell me?
The officer should inform you of your right to refuse the test, and that if you refuse, you could face fines, license revocation, and additional possible jail time, if convicted of a DUI. The officer will also tell you that your refusal in taking the test can be used against you in a court of law. If the officer has probable cause to suspect you were driving impaired, e.g. you were driving out of your lane, weaving, or you have an apparent drunken countenance, the officer could justifiably have reason to arrest you.
If you refuse to take any chemical test (breath, blood, or urine) you will lose your driver’s license for a full year, with no restricted license. You will also be required to do a nine month alcohol education course. This is true even if you have a low BAC, are acquitted or not charged.
Can I get convicted even if the prosecution doesn’t have my BAC test result?
Yes. The prosecution could argue that you refused the test because you knew that you were intoxicated. However, a local criminal defense attorney here in Rancho Cordova can counter the arguments with any sound reasons you may have, such as existing conditions like asthma, or that you went into panic attack, or that you simply didn’t trust the process for some valid reasons of your own.
What if I did take the breath test and my BAC reading was above limit?
There are countless factors that can affect the accuracy of a breath test machine. Among the facts can be atmospheric pressure and possible defects in the machine. The way the test was conducted or if you are ill or have consumed certain foods diet at that time, could also negatively affect the results. Your BAC reading (or refusal of) may be given significant weight as evidence, until the defense effectively counters the charges.
Some traffic-related charges in Rancho Cordova can be fought without a lawyer, but definitely not a DUI. DUI convictions promise serious penalties, particularly if damage to life and property is involved, or if the incident is a second or subsequent offense. To reduce, if not entirely avoid, the consequences, seek help from a knowledgeable DUI lawyer from firms such as The Chastaine Law Office.