Breath or Blood Tests in a Bakersfield DUI Case
Submit? Refuse? Which Should You Choose?
If you should ever be arrested for a suspected
DUI, your arresting officer will ask you to submit to either a breath or blood
test for the purposes of determining your blood alcohol concentration
(BAC). As opposed to an optional Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS),
this type of assessment is mandatory and must be taken. This will be conducted
either at the police station or at a mobile unit if the arrest was made
at a DUI checkpoint.
Facing DUI charges? Request an initial consultation
What are the Penalties for a Chemical Test Refusal?
If you refuse a breath or blood test after being arrested, you will have
your license immediately suspended. This is because California has an
“implied consent” law that states that by holding a driver’s
license, you are in essence already submitting to any chemical test that
an officer may request at the time of your lawful arrest.
If you refuse, the penalties will be as follows:
- For a first offense, a one year license suspension
- For a second offense, a two year license suspension
- For a third offense, a three year license suspension
Since the state only needs to prove that you had enough alcohol in you
to render you substantially incapable of operating a motor vehicle rather
than simply being over the legal limit, your specific blood alcohol concentration
does not have as much weight. Therefore, it is almost always wise to submit
to a chemical test if you have been arrested. Refusal will most often
just serve to worsen your situation.
Which Test Should You Take?
If given the choice, it is almost always preferable to take a blood test
over a breath test. It is much easier for a breath test to register a
false high reading than a blood test. There is a bit of truth to “the
harder you blow, the higher you go” saying, which is exactly why
some officers will encourage you to blow as hard as you can into their
machine. With a blood test, two vials of blood are taken: one for the
state, and one for you. With the second vial, your defense can have your
BAC retested at a third-party laboratory. It is common that for the two
samples to yield different results.
Additionally, choosing a blood test will further complicate the prosecution’s
case. Instead of solely requiring the presence of your arresting officer
at your trial, the prosecution will also need the technician who tested
your blood to be present.
Arrested? Call Campbell Whitten at (661) 735-1038
If you are facing DUI charges, your chances of securing a desirable outcome
are only as good as the defense team you have by your side. At Campbell
Whitten, our trial-tested Bakersfield DUI lawyers treat every case as
an opportunity to prove we are the best. We have handled more than 10,000
cases throughout our successful practice, providing us with the skills
and knowledge you need to help you get through this difficult time. We
are younger, smarter, and are willing to work harder for our clients than
any other firm.
Make sure your case is in good hands –