top of page

Can I Refuse A Breathalyzer Test In California?

Updated: Dec 6, 2022

The Laws On Consent And Rights In California DUI Arrests

In California, getting pulled over for a traffic infraction can be a scary experience. Even for a minor offense like a speeding ticket, no one loves getting into problems with the law. Even worse is getting pulled over for driving while intoxicated (DUI). Driving while intoxicated is not only very dangerous, but it can also be very embarrassing.

However, in addition to your DUI in Los Angeles, refusing to submit to a chemical test may result in other consequences. So, can authorities force you to take a breathalyzer test in California? How about consent laws? Can refusal lead to more penalties?

Let's look at what our Los Angeles DUI lawyers have to say about it:

DUI lawyer los angeles

California's Chemical Testing Consent Law

Given that you are aware of your right to be free from arbitrary searches and seizures under the Constitution, you may want to refuse to submit to a chemical test administered by the police. This is accurate, but it's a little more complicated than what movies and TV shows portray. You may be required to submit to chemical testing by law enforcement due to a legal concept known as "implied consent."

By using and driving your vehicle on the state's roads and highways, all drivers have implicitly consented to chemical testing, according to the implied consent regulation. Essentially, your agreement to chemical testing is inferred by operating a vehicle. You must comply with this requirement on your subsequent trip to the DMV.

The police cannot physically force you to submit to a chemical test, but you cannot opt-out of it either. Therefore, your choices in this scenario are merely for the type of testing you will submit to (i.e., a breathalyzer test, a blood test, or a urine test).

The California Vehicle Code states that the authorities must provide you the option of doing a breathalyzer test and drawing blood. So if one of those choices isn't available, you'll have to accept the alternative. Likewise, you might have to provide a urine sample for analysis if neither of the two is possible.

Get a referral to our criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles, CA ASAP if you think your rights have been violated.

drunk driving attorney california

What Are the Consequences For Refusing A Breathalyzer Test In California?

Depending on your driving history and history of DUIs, the specific consequences for refusing to take a breathalyzer test or another type of chemical testing after being detained may differ. For example, a driver with a recent DUI on their driving record will be subject to harsher penalties than a first-time offender.

  • The most minor penalties apply if you have never been charged with a DUI before. However, if you are found guilty of the DUI, you will have your license suspended for a year and could also face additional required fines and jail time.

  • If you refuse to take a breathalyzer test and have been convicted of a DUI once during the last ten years, you will face the same penalties as above, but your license will be suspended for two years rather than one.

  • In the same way, if you have had two or more DUI convictions in the last ten years, your license will be taken away for three years.

In addition to your history of DUIs, your license status may also impact the suspension of your license. For example, your license suspension might be extended if it has already been suspended, even if you have no prior DUI convictions.

Your initial suspension had to have occurred within the previous 10 years and be connected to a refusal to submit to chemical testing. Call us to arrange a free case review if you declined chemical testing; our prescreened DUI defense attorneys in Los Angeles can assist.

You Can Still Be Found Guilty Of A DUI In Your Refuse A Breathalyzer

Because they are aware that a breathalyzer test will be used to show their intoxication, some drivers refuse to take it. However, you must realize that declining to take the test would not exonerate you from the DUI allegations.

It is unnecessary, but the findings of a post-arrest breathalyzer test would surely aid the prosecution in getting your conviction. Even without a breathalyzer test, you might still be charged with DUI and found guilty. Even worse, you will be subject to further fines if you refuse to take the test.

Before making an arrest, police officers could also request that you take a breathalyzer test. This breathalyzer test is different from the testing done after an arrest. The pre-arrest breathalyzer can be refused, but the post-arrest chemical testing cannot.

You will still be charged with refusing to submit to testing even if the prosecutor decides to withdraw your DUI charges due to a poor case without a post-arrest breathalyzer test or other chemical testing.

There is no simple solution to this problem. Charges for the DUI, charges for refusing to submit to testing, or even both may be brought against you. Please contact a prescreened criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles immediately if you declined a breathalyzer test.

DUI lawyer los angeles ca

Find an experienced and trusted criminal defense attorney in California!

1000Attorneys can refer you to a prescreened Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer that can best handle your unique claim. Contact us through our 24/7 live chat (or complete our case details submission form) for a free initial consultation.


Best Lawyers Near Los Angeles

California State Bar Certified Lawyer Referral And Information Service

Welcome to, a Lawyer Referral and Information Service certified and approved by the California State Bar.

"Our commitment is to provide you with unbiased and impartial lawyer referrals."


Unlike other services, we maintain complete independence from the lawyers receiving these referrals, ensuring transparency and fairness.

While we specialize in California employment law and personal injury claims, we offer our referral services for various other legal areas.


At, we aim to ensure you are connected with best California attorney near you who can provide comprehensive and exceptional representation for your specific legal needs.


We understand that every legal situation is unique and are dedicated to finding the best match for you.


With our extensive network of attorneys, we strive to deliver outstanding legal support and guidance tailored to your individual requirements.

At, we hold California attorneys to the highest standards of professional conduct.


Your satisfaction and confidence in the legal representation you receive are paramount to us.


Rest assured that when you engage in our services, you can expect nothing less than exceptional legal support and guidance.

Why Lawyer Referrals Matter


The California State Bar investigates on average 16,000 complaints of professional misconduct by attorneys annually.

We conduct due diligence by researching and recommending the best local attorney for your case. 


Our team of experts verifies that attorneys are in good standing and have the required experience in the type of law related to your legal issue. 

Learn more about attorney discipline here.


Our History 


Since 2005, we have been dedicated to helping individuals find reliable legal representation in California.


We understand the challenges people face when trying to locate reputable lawyers, especially when inundated with self-promoting advertisements and biased marketing from law firms.


At our service, we strive to cut through the noise and provide a trustworthy and unbiased platform for connecting individuals with reputable California lawyers.


Our clients receive quality legal representation without the frustration and uncertainty often associated with legal advertising.

How the LRS Works 

Anyone seeking competent and honest legal representation in California, can request a FREE lawyer referral. 

Once you submit your case details online, our legal 24-hour legal department will review your claim and reply via email. Most cases are reviewed and answered within 15 minutes. 


A free 30 minute consultation with the attorney will be offered to each referred client. 

A representative will follow up a few days later via email with the client after receiving a referral for quality management purposes, or to obtain the status of the case. 

About lawyers from our network

California lawyers in our network are insured, in good standing with the California State Bar, and have substantial experience in their practice area.


Attorneys are available in most areas of law throughout Southern California. Every lawyer in or network has been vetted for:

  • Credentials

  • Education

  • Communication skills

  • Performance

  • Client reviews

  • Fair legal fees

  • Continuing education

  • Professional affiliations

Additionally, we conduct criminal  background checks and attorneys are always monitored by our service.  

How to find the best lawyer for your legal case: 

1. The fastest way to have your legal issue reviewed by one of our attorneys is to send your details online.


Your information will go directly to our 24 hour legal department bypassing our call center. You will get a reply via email within 15 minutes. 

2. You may also inquire about your legal issue via email. We respond to email inquiries within 24 hours M-F. 

3. By calling our lawyer referral hotline 661-310-7999. However, our agents are not attorneys and cannot provide legal advice. Due to high call volumes, it's highly recommended that you use option # 1 above. 


Simple Retro Handyman Service Badge Logo-2.png
bottom of page