DUI & California Policy
If you are suspected of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Fresno, you will likely be stopped by law enforcement and asked to participate in a variety of tests in order for the officer to determine whether you are under the influence of alcohol.
Keep in mind that California law states that an individual can be arrested and charged with DUI if the driver is operating a motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater.
California's Implied Consent Law
Under state law, if you are stopped for DUI, you are required to participate in field sobriety tests and/or chemical testing because of California's implied consent law. Under this law, a driver in California has already given her implied consent to participate in any of these tests by utilizing California roadways and possessing a California driver's license.
Chemical Testing in Fresno, Madera, Kings, Merced, and Tulare County
The chemical test should be taken at the time of your arrest and the officer should give you the option of choosing to participate in either the breath test or the blood test. You may also be asked to give the officer a preliminary breath sample, in addition to the other chemical test. Keep in mind, that the preliminary test is NOT REQUIRED and although the officer will tell you that it's just another field sobriety test, they will try to use it against you in court. However, ONCE YOU ARE ARRESTED, if you don't give a breath or blood sample, it will have severe consequences on your license.
These chemical tests will evaluate either your breath or blood (depending on the test) and will allow the officer to determine the level of alcohol in your system at the time of the traffic stop. This level is your BAC and if it is found to be .08% or higher, you will likely be arrested and charged with DUI in Fresno.
CA Penalties Associated with Refusing a Test
When you refuse to take one or more of these tests, you will likely face consequences. The penalties associated with refusal vary depending on whether the individual has refused the test before:Refusal w/ no priors:
- One-year suspension of your driver's license;
- Refusal w/ one prior DUI: Two-year suspension of your driver's license; and
- Refusal w/ two prior DUI's: Three-year suspension of your driver's license.
Do You Need a DUI Attorney? Yes you do!
There are specific issues and consequences relating to a refusal. If you have been arrested for DUI in Fresno, and you have refused the chemical tests, you will need an experienced DUI attorney to help guide you through your legal matters.