Every state including California has what are known as “implied consent laws” meaning if you are licensed to operate a motor vehicle and stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence, it is implied you must take a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) test. The officer is required to tell you that you have the option to decline. However, if you refuse, there will be legal consequences.
What Will Happen Upon Refusal to a BAC Test?
The California Vehicle Code (CVC 13353) addresses a driver’s failure to comply with the request to take BAC test that can result in the following penalties –
• Suspension of your license for one year
• License revoked for two or three years depending on driver’s history
• Potentially revoked for a lifetime if the history is extensive
CVC 23152(a) specifies that DUI is a crime and if you are stopped and refuse to take a chemical sobriety breath or blood test at a police station or hospital (not at the scene) then your license can be suspended for one year as well. If you are arrested for probable cause of DUI and refuse to take a BAC test the same rule applies.
This section clarifies that .08 percent or more alcohol in the blood constitutes being legally in drunken state. It is .04 percent if operating a commercial vehicle. It should be noted that the law is stricter for a minor in that the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream cannot exceed .01 percent.
How Can You Retain Your License After Being Cited for DUI?
If you are cited for DUI there is a way to avoid losing your license. You can do this by making a request for a DUI DMV hearing in which an Office for Driver’s Safety representative will meet with you to determine if the police officer followed the law when you were stopped. If the administrator finds that the officer did not adhere to the law, you may be allowed to keep your license. If you ask for a DUI DMV hearing, there are additional things you can do to influence the decision in your favor –
• Dress for success, show the court you respect the process
• First impressions are lasting ones so be punctual
• Be prepared for your argument including full documentation of the arrest
• Hire a DUI good attorney who may work on your behalf to lessen the charges where
possible and minimize the number of points placed on your license
How Can You Have Your License Reinstated?
There is a process for having your license reinstated. You will be obligated to satisfy your suspension in its entirety. If you received a prison sentence, that time must be served. When the suspension period is over you will need to go to the DMV and pay the applicable fee for re-issuance of your driver’s license. Any costs required by the court must be made at this time. You must also attend a DUI program. Upon completion of the program, you must file a Notice of Completion Certificate (Form DL-101).
Under What Circumstances Do You Need To Hire a Good DUI Attorney?
There are two basic situations for which you should consider hiring a competent DUI attorney. One of those situations is that there is clear evidence that you were either innocent of the charge or the police officer did not follow proper policies and procedures during the stop. The other reason to retain a lawyer is if the consequences of a guilty verdict are substantial.