If you are being investigated for a DUI, can you refuse to take a breath test or a blood test?
The answer is yes. The United States Constitution protects you from any unlawful searches and seizures, and that includes you blowing into a breath device or having your blood drawn to measure your alcohol content. Now, while you do have these Constitutional rights, there could be some consequences with the Department of Motor Vehicles. When you got your California driver’s license, you had a contract with the DMV that if you’re being investigated for a DUI, you must submit to a chemical test.
Very often, people confuse the chemical test with what’s known as the preliminary alcohol screening test. The preliminary alcohol screening test is a test that you take on the side of the road, before they take you to jail or before they take you to the hospital to take a chemical test, such as a breath test with a more sophisticated device at the station or with a blood test at a hospital or at the jail with a phlebotomist.
Either way, you have Constitutional rights to refuse to take any tests should you decide to exercise those rights. Just be aware that if you do refuse to take a chemical test, not the past test at on side of the road, but if you refuse to take the breath test at the station, or a blood test at the station or a hospital, your license could be suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Give us a call if you have any questions.