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Anytime a police officer stops a suspect in Los Angeles for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) they ask the suspect to perform a few tests. One is a breathalyzer, which you have the right to refuse. The other is a blood alcohol test. If you do refuse to take the breathalyzer when stopped for a potential DUI, you could be arrested and face immediate penalties. If you’re arrested, you’re not going to have an option to take a blood alcohol test. It becomes mandatory the moment you are in police custody.
There are always considerations a person must make when asked to take a breathalyzer, such as their breathing conditions. People with asthma, for example, are often unable to maintain the type of breath it takes to blow into the machine. In this case, they can ask to take a blood alcohol test in lieu of a breathalyzer, which is no problem. However, when a person decides they’re not interested in taking either test, problems begin to occur.
Refusing a Blood Alcohol Test
When you refuse to submit to either test after being pulled over for a suspected DUI, you are taking part in refusal. When you refuse, it’s a problem for your conviction if you’re arrested. It’s considered an aggravating factor. Aggravating, as you might already know, makes a sentence more serious. This could result in higher fines, longer jail time, and other factors when and if you are convicted of a DUI. The simple way to put this is you are being considered a person who is refusing to cooperate with the police, which is a serious issue.
Forced Blood Tests
The other factor that comes into play when someone is arrested for a DUI and forced to take a blood test is serious. When you are forced to take one, it doesn’t matter the outcome. You are still being uncooperative and not doing what you’re asked to do by police. Anyone who refuses to follow the instructions of the police is considered a problematic person, and it weighs heavily on the minds of those hearing the case.
The perceived consensus is most people believe that a person refusing to take a blood test at the scene of their potential arrest has something to hide. Even if the test comes back below the legal limit, there might be people who believe it only came back lower because the person was forced to take a test and was able to buy enough time to sober up before the test was administered.
What to Do When Pulled Over
The best thing you can do when you are pulled over for a suspected DUI is follow the instructions given by the police. Even if you are terrified of needles or scared of medical procedures and don’t think you can do it, you must try. Refusal is a serious crime, and it might have a long-lasting effect on your case even if you are not drunk when you are pulled over. There is nothing that looks worse than refusing both tests when you’re pulled over.
The other best thing you can do for yourself if you are pulled over and arrested for a DUI is say nothing. Follow the rules, do what’s asked of you, but keep your mouth shut and say nothing. Anything you say can be used against you, and it’s often misconstrued if it’s used in a court of law. Call an attorney who has ample experience working with DUI cases. Your case has a much better chance of being dismissed or at least reduced when you work with an attorney.
A good attorney can help you even if you were drinking and driving, and that’s why an attorney must be your first call when you are arrested. It’s best to know what to do, what not to do, and to have someone on your side as you go through this process. A DUI lawyer in Los Angeles is a beneficial person to have on your side whether you do the blood test or refuse it. Knowing your rights is not only suggested in this situation, it’s encouraged. Let an attorney help you get through one of the most difficult situations you’ll face.