Monder Law Group - News
CAN YOU SAY “NO” TO THE POLICE OFFICERS?
The Scenario: Imagine you’re driving home from a get together at a friend’s house in downtown San Diego. You notice a police car behind you; the car is flashing red and blue. Nervously (and likely, very begrudgingly) you pull over. The officer gets out of the car, walks to your window, and asks you a series of questions ultimately relating to whether or not you’re driving under the influence. His last question, the officer asks ifyou’re willing to take a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test.
- Can you say refuse?
- What would happen if you refused?
What is a PAS Test?
The preliminary alcohol-screening (PAS) test is used by law enforcement to measure your blood alcohol level. The PAS device is a hand-held breath-testing unit that gives an instant and accurate measure of your blood alcohol concentration. The device is designed to indirectly measure the amount of alcohol in a driver’s body. Using fuel cell technology to create an electric current, the PAS device then generates a numerical value for the current. This number is the BAC percentage.
The PAS tests are often considered part of an officer’s field sobriety tests. They are used as a means of early intoxication detection before more reliable tests, such as urine or blood sampling, are possible.
NOTE: The on-scene device should only be used as proof of reasonable suspicion of driver intoxication.
You May Have a Right to Refuse
If you’re stopped at a roadside or checkpoint as part of a DUI investigation, you’ll be asked to do what’s known as a (PAS) test prior to any arrest. You may have a right to refuse.
California Vehicle Code §23612(i) reads as follows in pertinent part:
To Refuse or Not to Refuse?
Many drivers commonly ask a criminal defense lawyers if they should submit to a PAS test before being arrested. If you’ re an adult, have no prior DUI convictions, and are not on probation, then taking the PAS test is totally voluntary. However, if you refuse to submit to a PAS test there is a chance your license will im mediately be revoked until you submit to further chemical tests.
Certain drivers cannot refuse a PAS test before arrest.
- A driver under 21 or who is on probation must submit to the test. If the person is on probation, refusing the test is also considered a violation of their probation’s terms and conditions.
- If you are a first time DUI offender, the penalties for refusing a chemical test are fine, imprisonment in county jail if convicted, one year’s driver’s license suspension, and a required 9-month alcohol education program.
- For a second DUI and refusal your license will be revoked for two years and there will be extra jail time.
- A third arrest and refusal will be more jail time and license revocation for three years. Refusal to take the test also means there will be no special restrictions on your suspended license, such as the permission to drive to work.
NOTE: If you are lawfully arrested for alcohol or drugs, under Vehicle Code VC 23612 (Implied Consent for Chemical Testing), you are required to submit to chemical blood tests and breath tests. After being formally arrested for DUI, you cannot refuse the chemical tests without facing serious penalties and consequences according to Department of Motor Vehicle regulations.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges carry with them the possibility of both jail time and the loss of driving privileges. As with any criminal case, a DUI defendant makes a major mistake if he attempts to make their way through the system without an aggressive criminal defense lawyer to stand up for their rights. Contact Monder Law today for a free San Diego DUI attorney initial consultation regarding your case. Vik Monder represents clients in throughout San Diego.