What Happens if I Refuse Breath or Blood Tests?

San Francisco Attorney Discusses DUI Laws and Consequences


If you are pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, under California law you must submit to a breath or blood test, or face penalties. The law states that there is “implied consent,” which means that simply by driving in California, you consent to chemical tests if you are suspected of driving under the influence. Police officers have a right to administer those tests.

Chemical Tests vs. Field Tests

Field sobriety tests (FSTs) require the driver to walk in a straight line, count backwards from 100, stand on one leg, or engage in other pre-determined activities to allow police to assess the person’s mental and physical condition.

Chemical tests – such as breathalyzers, blood or urine tests – help determine the exact level of alcohol in the driver’s system as well as the presence of other controlled substances. These tests can decisively determine whether someone has exceeded the state’s blood alcohol limit of 0.08%.

If You Refuse

In California, you don’t have a legal right to refuse, since there is implied consent, and refusing tests can hurt your case. If you refuse, you risk the suspension of your license as well as serious fines. A first refusal will result in the suspension of your license for one year with an additional year added for each additional refusal. Each refusal also results in a $125 fine.

[See Also: San Francisco California DUI Penalties]

Always Contact a San Francisco Attorney First

If you have been arrested for DUI in the Bay Area, strongly consider hiring a skilled Bay Area attorney to represent you. Daniel Vega can zealously represent your interests and protect your rights. Call the attorneys at the Law Offices of Daniel Vega today for a free, private consultation about your next steps (415) 287-6200. You can also fill out our online contact form here.