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 want to maintain your license.
Yes, it’s true you don’t have to do the field sobriety test. Yes, it’s true you don’t have to do the preliminary alcohol screening test. Yes, it’s true 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, just know that when you make your decision on what to do.
You definitely cannot refuse to take a blood or breath test, because if you do, it’s going to be marked down as a refusal and there’s two things going on with refusals. 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 own blood or breath test and come up 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 real 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?
The answer to that 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 driving fast they can kill other people.
That means the government has to get involved and has to 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, my advice – having done this for twenty-five years is, if asked by the police to take a blood or breath test because they believe you’ve been drinking and driving, just do it.
You don’t have to answer all of their questions, you can just 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.
A lot of this stuff is easier said than done because the police put pressure on 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.
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.
Obviously, the best practice is not to drink and drive, but 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 bad position in regard to getting a DUI conviction, as well.
If you have more question or have a DUI case or you have 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 quick as possible and as unscathed as possible.