Even though most drivers may not be aware of it, everyone with a California driver’s license has agreed to allow police officers to test their blood alcohol content (BAC) if they are stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence. Under California law, all drivers provide what is known as their implied consent to BAC testing in exchange for their driving privileges. Although a conviction for a first DUI carries the possibility of stiff penalties, the consequences can be even more severe if a driver refuses to take a chemical test at the time of arrest.
It is not the case, however, that the implied consent law gives police the ability to stop any driver, any time and require them to submit to a BAC test. Rather, officers must first have reasonable cause to suspect that someone is driving under the influence. This reasonable cause for a test could arise from driving recklessly, swerving over traffic lines, or an inability to maintain a proper speed.
After the officer stops a driver, the officer will usually ask the driver to complete some field sobriety tests before requesting that the driver submit to a BAC test. The implied consent law does not require the driver to do the field sobriety tests.
Contact an Experienced DUI Attorney
A conviction for DUI is not only costly, it can also damage your career and your relationships with family and friends. If you or someone you love is facing charges for driving under the influence, contact an experienced DUI attorney. A knowledgeable DUI lawyer can assess your case and help you protect your rights. For more information about what a DUI attorney can do for you, contact us today.