When you drive in California, state law provides that you have also consented to breath and blood testing if you are arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both. In certain situations, you may also be required to undergo urine tests. You do not have a right to consult a lawyer before submitting to post-arrest testing.
The vital thing to remember is that presumed consent applies if you are arrested.
Preliminary alcohol screening (PAS)
However, if you are not yet under arrest, police officers may ask you to submit to preliminary alcohol screening (PAS). Police will ask you to breathe into a handheld device at the scene to measure your blood alcohol. This test is entirely optional unless you are under 21 and police reasonably suspect you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
A peace officer may arrest you if your PAS shows your blood alcohol measures .08% or more. Officers may also require you to submit to admin per se blood or urine tests even if you have already submitted to a PAS since the PAS cannot detect drugs.
Driver’s license suspension if you refuse testing
Police may suspend your driving privilege immediately if you refuse post-arrest testing. Even if you change your mind later and undergo tests, your license may still be suspended for your initial refusal.
Consequences of a DUI arrest
Officers may take your driver’s license if you are arrested for a DUI and issue an order for suspension. They will also give you a temporary 30-day driver’s license pending adjudication of your DUI case. The penalties California courts will impose for a DUI depend on the surrounding circumstances.
In addition, you have the right to request a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) administrative hearing within ten days.