Los Angeles DUI Refusals
Refusals to Take a DUI Chemical Test
Many drivers want to know what will happen if they refuse to take a chemical test when stopped for a DUI in Los Angeles and Southern California. There are serious consequences to a driver who refuses to take a chemical test once they have been arrested for a DUI. But the definition of a "refusal" may not be as clear as some people think. The attorneys at the Kraut Law Group know how to aggressively represent their clients in Los Angeles DUI cases. A Los Angeles DUI attorney can help defend your Los Angeles DUI refusal case.
Drivers may not refuse to submit to chemical test in the following situation:
- PAS tests before arrest: Any driver who is on probation with search and seizure conditions or a driver who is under 21 years old MUST submit to a preliminary alcohol screening test. In 2008 the law changed to criminalize any person who is on probation who refuses a test, this would also be a violation of the terms and conditions of probation. All other drivers may refuse the PAS test.
- Chemical test after arrest: All drivers who have been arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles and Southern California must submit to a breath or blood test. If drugs are suspected then the driver must take a urine test.
What constitutes a refusal?
A refusal to take a chemical test is not clear cut. The facts of each case are determinative. Refusal can be as simple as the police asking the driver to take the test and the driver responding by stating "no". Or the driver being too intoxicated to breath into the test equipment is a refusal if the police ask the driver to take another test and the driver refuses.
However, a significant delay in responding to the police request for a test could be deemed a refusal. A good DUI attorney tries to determine if the officer's conduct, or delay, was the cause of the refusal. If the equipment does not work then the failure to get a test result may not be deemed a refusal by the driver.
Prior to the refusal being used against the driver, the police must advise the driver of the consequences of failing to take a chemical test. Otherwise, a court may not consider that refusal. But if the person was unconscious when the officer told the driver of the consequences, then it will not be considered a refusal. Impairment prevented him or her from hearing or understanding the admonition.
California DUI laws allow the police to forcibly obtain a blood sample from the driver. This can be done involuntarily if the police can justify that the evidence of alcohol or drugs will disappear if not obtained by the government. In almost all cases this elimination of the evidence will occur as the liver breaks down the alcohol or drugs.
Penalties for a refusal
A refusal to comply with a chemical test will result in a more serious penalty in a DUI case. If convicted of the DUI, the court is mandated to give additional jail time. The prior number of DUI cases will decide the amount of jail time that will be imposed. A first time DUI will result 48 hours of jail. If the driver has one prior DUI then the court will impose a sentence of 96 hours of jail. A third DUI offense with a refusal will result in a mandatory jail sentence of 10 days for the refusal plus any other time the court imposes for the DUI.
The Department of Motor Vehicles will suspend the driver's license for a period of one year. This is a total suspension with no possibility of a restricted license. The DMV will not issue a restricted license in a refusal case.
In the case of multiple DUI convictions, and in the current case the driver refused a chemical test, the DMV will suspend the license for one year in addition to the suspension time imposed by the court for the DUI.
If you have been arrested or charged with a DUI offense or charged with a DUI refusal in the Los Angeles or Southern California area, call Michael Kraut. Mr. Kraut understands the serious nature of this offense, how best to defend you, and how to resolve your case without you going to jail. Mr. Kraut has extensive knowledge of the law and the legal system. He has developed excellent relationships with law enforcement and law officials throughout the Los Angeles and Southern California.
For more information about the various defenses for your DUI case, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.