Driving Consequences for Refusals

A driver arrested for DUI in California is required under the implied consent law to submit to a chemical test to determine blood alcohol or drug content. In an alcohol DUI, the driver has a choice of a breath or blood test. In a drug DUI, the driver must take a blood test. A driver who refuses a chemical test faces serious repercussions from both the court and the DMV. The DMV can suspend your license for a refusal even if it turns out there are no drugs or alcohol in your system.

Refusal in Court

If a refusal is pled and proved in court, the punishment is increased by more days in jail and a longer DUI class that most be taken.

Refusal at DMV

A driver has 10 days to contact DMV to request a DMV hearing. This is critical in a refusal case because the punishment is so severe even on a first-time refusal. If no hearing is requested, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended with no restriction eligibility for a period of 1 year.

DMV Refusal Hearing Issues

If you set your DMV hearing within 10 days and you refused to take a breath test or blood test, there are different issues in your DMV Hearing:

  1. Did the Peace Officer have reasonable cause to believe you were driving a motor vehicle in violation of Vehicle Code Section 23140, 23152, or 23153?
  2. Were you legally detained and placed under lawful arrest?
  3. Were you told that, if you refused to submit to or failed to complete a test of your blood or breath, your driving privilege would be suspended for one year or revoked for two or three years?
  4. Did you refuse to submit to, or fail to complete, a blood or breath test after being requested to do so by a peace officer?

Winning DMV Refusal Defenses

The DMV has the burden of proof to prove the case against you. Although DMV hearings are tough to win, they can be won if you hire an attorney that knows what they are doing. Since all licensed drivers are required to submit to a chemical test in a DUI case, action can be taken against you even if your blood alcohol level is 0.0. The following are just some of the areas were the DMV refusal hearing can be won:

  • You were not driving the vehicle
  • The officer didn’t have a legal reason to pull you over
  • You consented to give a chemical test
  • You had a medical reason not to give a test
  • The officer didn’t properly advise you of your rights
  • The officer confused you when advising you of your rights
  • The DS 367 Officers’ statement was not properly sworn and filled out
  • The DS 367 Probable Cause Statement was not properly filled out
  • The Officer’s “official duty” was rebutted
  • Significant mistakes made in the Officer’s Statement and police report
  • Insufficient or improper DMV evidence

DMV Refusal Hearing Suspension Periods

If you refused the chemical test, this is very serious. On a first offense refusal, the suspension period is 1 year, on a 2nd offense refusal it’s 2 years, and on a third offense refusal it’s 3 years. This is a hard suspension with no restriction eligibility.

If you refused a chemical test, you need an attorney

We have successfully represented many drivers accused of refusing the chemical tests. Call our office today at (916) 939-3900 to speak directly to an attorney about your refusal case and how we can defend you against the refusal action. We are open 24/7/365 to answer your questions.