Being pulled over by police because they suspect you of driving under the influence (DUI) is a scary experience, particularly if you have never been through it before. Your actions during the stop and the arrest, if this occurs, will have a significant impact on the outcome of your case.
During the initial stop, the officer may ask you to submit to different field sobriety tests, such as following an object with your eyes or walking in a straight line. The officer may also ask you to take a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test. If you are arrested, law enforcement will ask you to submit to a chemical test once you are brought to the police station. So, what happens if you refuse these tests?
Can You Refuse the PAS Test?
The preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test is one of many field sobriety tests. Unlike other field sobriety tests, during which you may be asked to stand on one leg or walk in a straight line, the PAS test is administered by a handheld machine into which drivers are asked to blow. Many people know this as the breathalyzer test.
The only people who are required to take the PAS test are drivers who are under the age of 21 years old. Generally speaking, if a police officer asks you to take a PAS test, they want to establish probable cause for an arrest. In the majority of cases, there is no reason to take this test. It will only help the officer and the prosecution strengthen their case against you. Additionally, you should also refuse any other field sobriety test to the police officer requests.
Can You Refuse a Chemical Breath Test?
If you are arrested and taken to the police station, you must submit to a breath test if an officer asks you to take one. If you do not, you will be held in violation of the implied consent law in the state. Implied consent refers to the fact that when you applied for your driver’s license, you gave your consent to have your blood tested to determine its alcohol content. The penalties for refusing a chemical breath test are harsh and include:
- First offense: 48 hours in jail, a driver’s license suspension of one year, and mandatory attendance in DUI school for six months
- Second offense: 96 hours in jail and a driver’s license revocation of two years
- Third offense: An additional ten days in jail and a driver’s license revocation of three years
- Fourth offense: An additional 18 days in jail with a driver’s license revocation of three years
Our DUI Defense Lawyers in Ventura Can Prepare the Strong Case You Need
The consequences of a DUI conviction and refusing a chemical breath test are serious and could stay with you for the rest of your life. At Strongest Defense, our Ventura DUI defense lawyers will build the strong case you need to protect you from severe penalties and help you retain your freedom. Call us now at (805) 477-0070 or contact us online to schedule a free evaluation of your case with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.