Do I Have To Take A Blood Or Breath Test When I Am Stopped For DUI?

When you are stopped for a DUI investigation you will be concerned, nervous, most probably scared and certainly embarrassed. These are normal reactions. Many attorneys and websites give conflicting advice as to what tests you should or should not take. Even though you can refuse to take a breath or blood test the California Department of Motor Vehicles will suspend your license for a year should you refuse.

In addition should you decide to go to trial on your case the judge will instruct the jury that you refused the chemical tests. He will further tell the jury that they can consider this as consciousness of guilt and that will not help you win your case.

Also when you are stopped you might be offered a portable test, the PAS test, which is a small hand held device that gives a preliminary reading. This test is not required by the Department of Motor Vehicles but it is almost always going to give a higher reading than the breath or blood test which is required and is admissible in court. This variation can be used by your attorney to question the accuracy of the tests.

Your attorney in the discovery process can obtain the test and accuracy records of the breath testing equipment as well as the calibration test results for the blood sample analysis. On many occasions these records can reveal improprieties in the maintenance of the testing equipment that can result in a more favorable outcome.

You may also be asked to do what are called field sobriety tests. These might include touching your nose, walking a straight line or counting backwards. You are actually better off doing these tests because in reality even a sober person, unless an athlete will have trouble walking heel to toe or touching their nose while leaning backwards. These tests do not carry a great deal of weight in court.