Refusing a Blood Test for DUI
A fairly standard procedure after arresting someone for driving under the influence (DUI) in California is taking them back to the police station and attempting to take their blood sample to conduct a blood test. The results of this blood test will, in theory, give the police an accurate measurement of the suspect’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Although there are ways to defeat chemical test results in court, it is better for the defendant if no such results exist.
This raises the questions, “Is it illegal to refuse to take a blood test?”
Refusal Will Bring Immediate Consequences
Technically, it is not illegal to refuse a blood test after a DUI arrest because it does not bring any criminal consequences. However, it will trigger immediate administrative consequences that are arguably worse. The first time you refuse to take a mandatory chemical test, such as a blood test, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will suspend your driver’s license for one year. Subsequent refusals, or refusing while you have a history of DUIs on your driving record, will extend the automatic suspension to two or three years.
In the end, even though it is not strictly illegal to refuse a blood test, it is not advised you do so. A attorney will typically suggest you adhere to the mandatory test and challenge the results, rather than refusing.
Have you been arrested for a DUI and subjected to a blood test? The Law Offices of Evan E. Zelig, P.C. and our defense lawyer can be retained to defend your rights and your driving privilege with our 15+ years of criminal defense experience. If you did refuse to take a mandatory test, you need to contact us as soon as possible. We may be able to halt the automatic suspension and save your license – but you have to act quickly. Call (707) 418-5352 today.