If you have been drinking and driving the penalties imposed by law could be very serious. If a police officer vaguely suspects that you have a higher amount of BAC in your blood, he or she could very well get you to do a breathanalyzer test. This is basically an alcohol test which will determine the exact amount of alcohol in your blood. However, in addition to complying with the alcohol testing procedure, there are many other legal implications and penalties imposed.
Blood or breath alcohol testing
In all 50 states of the US, it is a legal offence to be driving under the influence of alcohol. So, if an officer suspects you have been drinking, you are required to comply with a breath alcohol analyzer test or a blood test. Certain state jurisdictions provide an option allowing you to choose which alcohol testing procedure you wish to take up.
If you happen to be below 21 years of age and are being detained on suspicion of DUI you need to get a PAS alcohol test done. PAS refers to Preliminary Alcohol Screening. You may also be required to go for additional chemical alcohol testing procedures to assess the levels of BAC in your blood.
Chemical alcohol test refusal
Should you refuse to get a chemical alcohol testing for any reason, the following actions will be taken against you by the Department of Motor Vehicles. You cannot operate any vehicle for anywhere from 1-3 years, depending on when the refusal occurred from the act of violation.
California legal penalties
Once you receive a DUI in the state of California, you will be subject to various legal penalties, some of which are outlined below:
- You can be slapped a fine ranging between 390 dollars to as much as 1000 dollars
- If the alcohol testing shows up a BAC of 0.20 or more, then your license could be suspended for 10 months or more. For lower levels of BAC the suspension of license is around 6 months
- You will be required to undergo a DUI program of 3 months if your BAC is below 0.20 and for higher amounts, a DUI program extended for 9 months or more
- You may be required to serve jail term extended between 96 hours to 6 months
- If you have refused a chemical alcohol test you will be required to use ignition interlock mechanisms for a period of 1 or 3 years. If your BAC levels were 0.20 or more then too such a mechanism is required to be installed.
Second time offense in California
If you happen to be caught for a DUI offence for the second time in California, then the penalties are more severe. While the fine amount will still be 390 dollars to 1000 dollars, your license could be suspended for upto 2 years or even more. You would also be required to undergo DUI programs extending between 18 to even 30 months. Your jail term could extend between 90 days to as much as 1 year. In addition, your vehicle could be impounded for a period extending between 1 to 30 days.
For repeated offences of drinking and driving the legal penalties keep increasing.