Law Office of Gilbert B. Vega
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What are the consequences of refusing a breath test?

Many people in Sacramento over the past Memorial Day weekend spent their time at barbecues, parties, the beach, or other festivities that signal that summer is here. While at these events, they may have had a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a cocktail to help them unwind. However, on their drive home an entirely unrelated reason, such as a broken taillight, might have caused them to see red and blue lights flashing in their rear view mirror. In these situations, when an officer approaches and asks if you have been drinking, what do you say?

While it many people in this situation may want to decide not to submit to a breath test if asked to by an officer, believing that they truly have not consumed too much alcohol to drive, there are consequences for refusing a breath test. This is because in California recognizes a concept known as "implied consent." In essence, this means that in exchange for the privilege of driving, a motorist automatically agrees to take a breath test if asked to do so.

If a person is of the legal drinking age when he or she declines to submit to a breath test for the first time, then he or she will have his or her driver's license suspended for 12 months. If it is the second refusal within 10 years, he or she will have his or her driver's license revoked for 24 months. Finally, if it is the third or more refusal within 10 years, he or she will have his or her driver's license revoked for 36 months.

As these penalties show, there are consequences to refusing to submit to a breath test. While a person who truly believes he or she is not under the influence may feel there is no reason to submit to a breath test, he or she may want to weigh the pros and cons of refusing to do so. Those who want more information on this subject can speak with a DUI/DWI attorney to learn more about the consequences of refusing to submit to a breath test.

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