DMV Penalties for Refusing to Submit to a Chemical Test 2017-05-07T05:04:01+00:00

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DMV Penalties for Refusing to Submit to a Chemical Test

What is a Chemical Test Refusal?

Any driver arrested for DUI in the State of California will be faced with the choice of submitting to a chemical test of their blood or breath. While law enforcement officers may compel only a blood test in some instances, an arrested driver is generally given the option to choose between the blood or breath test.   If a driver has been lawfully arrested for DUI and then refuses a law enforcement officer’s demand for a chemical blood or breath test, the driver has committed a Chemical Test Refusal.

Regardless of whether an arrested driver is from California, or any other state or country, the simple act of driving in this state means the driver has “implied” that he will “consent” to a chemical test of his blood or breath after a lawful arrest for DUI. Often referred to as the Implied Consent Law, California Vehicle Code section 23612 reads, in part:

A person who drives a motor vehicle is deemed to have given his or her consent to chemical testing of his or her blood or breath for the purpose of determining the alcohol content of his or her blood, if lawfully arrested……

So, the willful refusal to submit to a chemical test of one’s blood or breath is, by itself, a violation of California Law and exposes the driver to more severe terms of driver license suspension or revocation.

 

The penalties ascribed for refusing to submit to a Chemical Test are outlined in California Vehicle Code (CVC) section 23612 (D):

First Offense DUI with Chemical Test Refusal:

  • Fine
  • Mandatory Imprisonment if convicted
  • Complete suspension of the person’s driving privilege for one-year (No option for restricted driver license).

Second Offense DUI with Chemical Test Refusal:

  • Fine
  • Mandatory imprisonment if convicted
  • Complete revocation of the person’s driving privilege for two-years (No option for restricted driver license) if the new offense occurs within ten-years of a prior.

Third Offense DUI with Chemical Test Refusal:

  • Fine
  • Mandatory imprisonment if convicted
  • Complete revocation of the person’s driving privilege for three-years (No option for restricted driver license) if the new offense occurs within ten years of two or more priors.

 

If you have been arrested for DUI in the State of California and if the arresting officer is alleging you refused to submit to a chemical test of your blood or breath, you are facing the very real possibility of losing your privilege to drive for a minimum of one-year. The only way to save your driving privilege is to schedule, conduct and win an Administrative Per Se (APS) hearing before the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

At such an APS Hearing, the DMV Hearing Officer must make positive findings on these four elements:

  • Was the driver lawfully contacted, stopped or detained?
  • Was the driver lawfully arrested for DUI?
  • Was the driver properly advised of his or her requirement to submit to a chemical test of his or her blood or breath?
  • Did the driver refuse to submit to a chemical test at the lawful request of a Peace Officer?

As simple as these four elements seem, there are quite complex legal issues that either establish or disprove their legality. The DMV Defense Experts at California Drivers Advocates have been fighting and winning Refusal Cases at the DMV for years. There are often defensible issues with the probable cause for the stop, the lawfulness of the arrest or the way in which the officer makes his demand for a chemical test. Law Enforcement officers are notorious for confusing a driver and then charging that driver with a refusal when they ask too many questions. We know what to look for and how to fight these cases.

Fighting a Chemical Test Refusal? Call CDA……….. We can Help!

When an accused driver walks into an Administrative Per Se hearing at the California DMV, they face the epitome of a governmental bureaucracy that has little or no interest in being fair. DMV hearing officers are trained to presume that a driver is guilty of DUI without further discussion. When the accused driver is also alleged to have refused to submit to a chemical test, the DMV looks upon them with even greater disdain. Without guidance, there is little or no hope of a driver successfully defending themselves against a driver license suspension or revocation.

The DMV Defense Experts from California Drivers Advocates have an extensive history of defending drivers before the California DMV. Because DMV defense is the only thing we do, we do it very, very well. We treat our clients’ driving privileges like we would treat our own. We fight for our clients like they are family. If your driving privilege can be saved, we’re the people to get it done. Call us and let us go to work attacking your case.

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More about Administrative Per Se (DUI) Hearings at the California DMV

What is a DS-367M

What is the Implied Consent Law

DUI/Sobriety Checkpoints