Any breath tests that an officer may request before a person is arrested are 100% optional and do not need to be taken. This is known as a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test and may be conducted by a police officer using a hand-held breath-testing unit for the purposes of determining if there is enough evidence to arrest a driver for DUI. If you are pulled over, you are not required by law to submit to a preliminary breath test, though an officer will likely not indicate this.
Submitting to a PAS breath test is only mandatory if:
- You are under 21 years of age
- You are on California DUI probation for a previous offense
Facing DUI charges? Contact our officetoday to get the defense you deserve!
What If I Have Already Been Arrested?
Any breath test that an officer may request after a person has been arrested is mandatory under California’s “implied consent statute.” This law states that by simply being issued a California driver’s license, you have already consented to any breath, blood, or urine test that an officer may request in the event that you are lawfully arrested for suspected DUI. Refusing to submit to a breath test after being arrested can bring various consequences.
Refusal of a post-arrest chemical test can result in the following penalties:
- A one-year DMV driver’s license suspension
- Two days of jail time
- Nine months of California DUI school
These penalties increase in severity depending on a person’s prior record of test refusals and DUI offenses. While those who submit to a breath test can sometimes apply for a restricted license, refusing a breath test will nullify this opportunity. In most cases, it is recommended you do not refuse a breath test, as the additional consequences will most likely not be worth potential benefit of limiting the officer’s evidence of your intoxication. If anything, refusing a breath test is often seen as a sign of guilt and can be used to the prosecution’s advantage. It is best to submit to a test and contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Trust in a Firm with 15+ years of Experience
If you have refused a breath test following a DUI arrest, a high-caliber Santa Rosa criminal defense lawyer from our firm can aggressively defend your freedom and greatly improve your chances of securing a desirable outcome for your situation. Unlike other firms who rely heavily on “cookie cutter” solutions, we take the time to examine each client’s case in intricate detail, allowing us to craft a custom-tailored strategy aimed at tearing apart the prosecution’s claims. Your future is far too important to be left up to chance – make sure your case is in good hands!
Countless clients have trusted us to handle their cases for the following reasons:
- Super Lawyers® Rising Stars℠ distinction
- Thousands of clients represented
- Client Distinction Award recipient by Martindale-Hubbell®
- 2015 10 Best in Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys
If you are ever pulled over for a suspected DUI, you will be asked to submit to a breath test by the responding officer to determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). In some cases, breath tests are optional, while others are not. Refusing to submit to a mandatory breath test can result in serious penalties. If you should ever be arrested for DUI or are charged with refusing a breath test, a hard-hitting Santa Rosa DUI lawyer from the Law Offices of Evan E. Zelig, P.C. can protect your freedom and fight for a dismissal or reduction of your charges.
Call (707) 418-5352 to schedule a complimentary case evaluation today.
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