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Consequences of Alcohol Test Refusal in California

If a police officer pulls you over on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, he will ask you to take a chemical test of blood, breath or urine to determine whether you were driving with alcohol in your system. However, under California's implied consent laws, every motorist is assumed to have consented to a chemical test to detect the presence of alcohol.

Under the law, you have consented to a test even if you're not arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. The officer in your case will conduct a field sobriety test, and will use the results of the test to prove that you were driving under the influence of alcohol. However, the officer needs to inform you at the time of administering the test, that you have the right to refuse it.

In many cases, Los Angeles DUI lawyers recommend that you do not refuse the test, because there are consequences to alcohol test refusal in California. In such cases, the office typically has some other reason to believe that you were driving under the influence of alcohol, and could ask you to take a test based on that other reason. That means you may end up having to take the test anyway, and would also have to pay the consequences of a blood-alcohol test refusal.

What are the consequences of alcohol test refusal? In California, refusing to take a breath, blood or urine test for the detection of alcohol can result in a one-year-suspension of your license. This applies to those cases where it was the person’s very first alcohol test refusal. However, if you have refused to take an alcohol test in the past, you could lose your license for two years. You could also lose your license for two years if you have been convicted of DUI over the past 10 years.


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