California has an implied consent law, which requires a driver that is lawfully arrested, suspected of driving under the influence, to submit to a chemical test. The tests that are typically offered for suspected alcohol intoxication is a breath and blood test. A blood test is usually offered for suspected drug intoxication. Occasionally, a urine test may be offered if it believed the driver is under the influence of drugs and is unable to give a blood sample for medical reasons, or the blood and /or breath test is not available.
The officer is only required to give you one chance to complete the test. If you refuse, but then change your mind, or you fail to pick one of the tests offered, that can be considered a refusal.
If you refuse, the police may forcibly draw your blood if they obtain a warrant or they can show exigent circumstances that justify the blood draw without a warrant. In addition to the administrative penalties through the DMV regarding your privilege to drive, there are also enhanced criminal penalties for refusing to submit to a chemical test.
For a first DUI with a refusal enhancement, an additional 48 hours in jail will be added to the penalty. In addition, instead of the 3-month First Conviction Program, the 9-month program will be ordered. With a second drunk driving conviction within 10-years, 96 hours in jail is added. For a third driving under the influence conviction within 10-years, 10 additional days in jail are added to the sentence. And, lastly, for a fourth or subsequent DUI conviction within 10-years with a refusal, the enhanced penalty is 18 additional days in jail. Continue reading →