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Understanding the Implications of California's Implied Consent Laws

Posted by attorney Thomas Wallin

Like most other states, California has an "implied consent" law that requires drivers to submit to chemical testing and/or perform field sobriety tests if a law enforcement officer suspects they are driving impaired.

Many California drivers aren't aware that when you apply for a driver's license in California you actually agree to this in exchange for your right to drive on California's roadways.

So how does "implied consent" work? As we have noted on this blog in the past, there is no penalty for refusing to submit to a Breathalyzer before being placed under arrest. Preliminary Alcohol Screening, which is generally conducted on the roadside prior to an arrest, does not fall under California's implied consent laws, but rather is a voluntary test. This, however, does not apply to underage drivers, where special rules apply.

A California driver can still refuse to submit to a breath test after being arrested, but he or she risks automatic license suspension along with possible additional DUI penalties including required installation of an ignition interlock device or jail time.


For those of you that had been using an Apple DUI checkpoint application, we invite you to check out our Facebook California DUI Checkpoint page and OC DUI Checkpoint website.


The Law Offices of Thomas Wallin can defend you in your Driving Under the Influence (DUI) case in Southern California. As an experienced, aggressive DUI trial lawyer, Mr. Wallin handles DUI cases in Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Orange County. As a DUI criminal defense attorney, Mr. Wallin will represent you at both the DUI criminal proceeding as well as the DUI DMV hearing. In most cases, your DUI lawyer can appear on your behalf in court, saving you time and embarrassment.

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