This question is asked all the time, and unfortunately, sometimes people have the wrong information related to this. If you're pulled over by the police and they suspect that you're DUI, driving under the influence of alcohol in Los Angeles, you have to take whatever test they want you to take if you're going to maintain your license.
Yes, indeed, you don't have to do the field sobriety test. Yes, indeed, you don't have to do the preliminary alcohol screening test. Yes, indeed, you don't have to answer all of their questions, but if you don't do those things, then they're going to do everything they can to get you for a DUI because you're not cooperating with them, and they probably figure you've been drinking and driving or just trying to hide it. So, know that when you decide what to do.
You definitely cannot refuse to take a blood or breath test because if you do, it will be marked down as a refusal, and two things are going on with denials. Number one, you're going to be presumed driving under the influence, which sucks, because how do you rebut that presumption?
It's not easy to do unless you go quickly and take your blood or breath test and come up with zeros on the machine or nothing on the blood. Who's going to have the opportunity to do that? Especially after you've been arrested for a DUI and they put you in custody for a day.
So, the key is that if they think that you've been drinking and driving, you might as well take those tests, because even if you fail the tests, and even if you know you're going to fail the test because you've been drinking plenty, at least you're not going to lose your driver's license for a year on a first offense.
On a first offense, you only lose your ability for actual driving for one month versus that year for the refusal. People say that's not fair. Why should they be able to make me take a blood or breath test?
Driving On The Road Is a Privilege
The answer is why they should let you drive on the road in California. Driving on the road is a privilege, not a right. Because when people are in these cars, and they're going fast, they can kill other people.
That means the government has to get involved and make sure people are not drinking alcohol and driving. So, that gives them some leeway. That gives them some things to do when it comes to DUI cases.
So, long story short, you can refuse to do anything, but if you refuse to take that test, you're going to lose your driver's license for a year with no restrictions. Period. So, having done this for twenty-five years, my advice is, if asked by the police to take a blood or breath test because they believe you've been drinking and driving, do it.
You don't have to answer all of their questions; you can be very polite and say, I'm not going to answer your questions. I will cooperate with you, but I don't have to answer all of your questions, and that's it.
Much of this stuff is more accessible said than done because the police pressure you. They yell at you. They've got guns. They've got badges. So, it makes it very difficult, especially when they're shining their light in your eyes — it is very intimidating.
Contact Our Law Firm for Help
But the bottom line is, don't listen to those dummies who say, don't take the blood or breath test when the police ask you to do so because they're setting you up for the disaster of losing your driver's license for a year.
The best practice is not to drink and drive. Still, if you do, you need to cooperate with the police because if you don't, you stand a lot to lose as it relates to your driver's license, and you're going to put yourself in a wrong position regarding getting a DUI conviction, as well.
If you have more questions or have a DUI case or a refusal case and need in Los Angeles, give me a call. We'll sit down. I'll use my twenty-five years of experience to help you make the right moves moving forward so you don't get any further problems and you can get out of this DUI situation as quickly as possible and as unscathed as possible.