If you have been drinking and then you get behind the wheel without allowing time for the alcohol to be absorbed into your bloodstream, a police officer may stop you because they suspect that you are driving under the influence (DUI). The officer may ask you to submit to a DUI breath test. However, if you fail the test, do not necessarily assume that you will be convicted of drunk driving.
The reality of implied consent laws
If you have alcohol in your bloodstream and a police officer stops you, California’s “implied consent” law applies. under this law, the state presumes that because you are operating a vehicle, you have already agreed to submit to chemical tests of your breath, blood, or urine to establish if you have drugs and/or alcohol in your system. However, not every person who is stopped by police on suspicion of a DUI will agree to take a breath test (or blood or urine test). Legally, the officer cannot force you to take the test.
In California, a person’s refusal to take a breath test can result in a citation. Generally, the only way to get out of the citation is to agree to having one’s blood drawn instead of taking the breath test.
If you are convicted on DUI charges, you may lose your license and pay a fine. You may even spend time in jail.
If you are charged with a DUI, it’s important to consult a DUI defense lawyer who can advise you on your defense options.
The results of your breath test may be refutable. Certain factors may influence the credibility of your case. Some of the questions that you may ask are whether the breath test was calibrated correctly, whether the officer who tested your breath had been trained correctly, whether any mistakes were made during the test, and whether the breath test results were consistent with your blood alcohol content (BAC) test scores.