Monder Law Group - News
DUI – Due Process
Do You Waive Your Due Process Rights, If You Do An Alcohol Prescreening Test?
Short Answer: No. You have the right to determine which test determines your blood alcohol content, and, if the chemical test chosen was breath, to have the Due Process right to obtain a back-up test of blood or urine so that the evidence of BAC is preserved.
And California courts have held that the denial of a chance to obtain evidence (e.g. a blood test) on a charge of intoxication prevents the accused from obtaining evidence necessary to his defense, and is a denial of due process of law.
The process due in such instances is where a person is administered a breath test be advised that he or she has a right to a back-up test of blood or urine, because a breath test does not provide a retestable sample. This is one’s right to evidence.
If the arresting officer arbitrarily and unilaterally, and therefore illegally, deprived the defendant of that right and the court allows the PAS test result to be used for BAC. Then, there was no voluntary and understanding waiver of said right to evidence.
What Should Happen: The officer, by statute, V.C. §23612(i) should advise the driver of the following admonition, which, if given, explains that the PAS test is only a preliminary alcohol screening test to be used for determining probable cause and is not a test for blood alcohol content: “I am requesting that you take a preliminary alcohol screening test to further assist me in determining whether you are under the influence of alcohol. This is not an implied consent test. If arrested, you will be required to give a sample of your blood, breath, or urine for the purpose of determining the actual alcoholic (and/or drug content) of your blood.”
The implied consent law of California creates a liberty interest of a choice of tests (blood or breath) to determine BAC that is entitled to the procedural due process protection of the Fourteenth Amendment. If violated, then Due Process is violated. That is a Constitutional “no, no.”