California Drunk Driving Defense Attorney - Chemical Test Refusal Punishments

If you are accused of driving under the influence (DUI) and refuse to take a chemical test, there are severe consequences that may be imposed against you.  When an individual is arrested in California for driving drunk and the individual has a California driver's license, then he or she is required to submit to a breath, blood or urine test to determine if he or she is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both.  This requirement falls under California's Implied Consent law V.C. Section 23612.  (Note., California's Implied Consent Law does not apply to the handheld PAS test machine.)

 

A DUI suspect who refuses to take a chemical test may be charged with a separate offense in addition to the DUI charge.  The immediate consequences of refusing to take a chemical test typically occur at the California Department of Motor Vehicles Administrative hearing.  As stated under California V.C. Section 13353, "(a) If a person refuses the officer's request to submit to, or fails to complete, a chemical test..." the DMV may suspend or revoke the individual's driving privileges.  For multiple DUI offenses and a BAC test refusal, the penalties become more severe.  For a first DUI offense and refusal your driver's license is suspended for 1 year; for a second DUI offense and refusal your driver's license is suspended for 2 years; for a third DUI offense and refusal your driver's license is suspended for three years; and for a fourth DUI offense within a ten-year period, (whether or not you refused a chemical test,) your driver's license is revoked for 4 years.