How long will I lose my license for refusing a chemical test?

If a law enforcement official accuses you of driving under the influence and asks you to take a chemical test, such as a breath or blood test, you may face a number of consequences if you refuse. In Encino, and communities throughout California, you may lose your driving privileges if you find yourself in this position. However, there are a number of factors that will have an impact on the amount of time your license will be revoked.

According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, drivers who have three or more previous offenses involving chemical test refusal during the past 10 years on their record will have their license revoked for three years. However, those charged with refusing to submit to a chemical test for the second time in the previous decade will have their license revoked for two years, while those charged for the first time will have their driver’s license suspended for one year. It is also important to point out that the penalties are the same for drivers facing these charges who are under the age of 21.

If you are facing charges related to drunk driving or refusing to take a breath test, you may have a variety of concerns and be unsure of which steps to take. However, you should carefully examine the details of your circumstances and recognize your rights. You should also understand that this post is not legal advice and was put together to shed light on the penalties associated with breath test refusal.

Auto-brewery syndrome may be to blame for your DUI

For drivers in California, flashing red lights in the rearview mirror is one of the least welcome sights, especially for those who have been drinking. DUI citations can lead to a loss of privileges, opportunities and income, and are a big incentive for motorists to avoid driving drunk. While most people refrain from drinking too much alcohol to avoid the consequences of intoxication, there are some who find this unavoidable and have been cited for multiple DUIs. CNN reports that new studies are shedding light on a condition called auto-brewery syndrome, in which a person’s gut acts as an internal brewery and can cause a raised blood alcohol level simply from the foods that have been eaten.

 

While the discovery is still new, scientists have discovered that patients with this disease usually have an overabundance of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, or brewer’s yeast, in their intestines. The overgrowth may occur after a round of antibiotics kills off good bacteria and allows the yeast to grow unchecked, or it may have another unknown culprit.

 

As the patient ingests sugars, alcohol or bread products, the yeast ferments the starches to create ethanol. This is the same type of alcohol that is found in beer, wine and other drinks and can lead to the same levels of intoxication.

 

One woman was monitored for 12 hours and researchers discovered that her BAC rose to over 0.3 percent simply from the foods she ate. After discovering this, her DUI case was dismissed by the judge. NPR reports that another man was watched for 24 hours and reached a blood alcohol concentration of 0.12 percent without a single drink.

Fight your DUI with one of these 3 defensive options

You’re young, and your friends love to head out to clubs throughout L.A. County. While most of the time you are the designated driver, last time you opted to have a drink or two while you were out. You felt fine when you got into your car, but after you had to slow down quickly for a hidden stop sign, a police officer pulled you over thinking you were intoxicated. The breath test came up as .08, but there’s no way you could have been that intoxicated. What can you do?

Question the validity of the test

The first thing you can do is to question the accuracy of the test. If you only had two drinks and waited an hour or two before driving, it’s not likely that your blood alcohol concentration was that high. Did you burp or have indigestion during the test? This can make the test read out higher than the true BAC. The Breathalyzer could also be damaged or working incorrectly, which could cause an inaccurate reading.

Question the administration of the test

If an officer was not properly trained in administering a breath test, it’s possible you could have the test removed from evidence. If other factors could also be at play, like the failure to calibrate the test, the courts should consider this.

Question the chain of custody

To make sure a blood test hasn’t been tampered with, the officer and testing facilities keep track of where the test is at all times. If there is no information on where the test was or tampering is evident, then you can ask that the evidence is sealed and not used to prosecute you.

Your attorney has several options for defenses, depending on your situation. Be honest, and you can come up with one that helps your case.

How can I avoid speeding tickets?

As a driver in Encino, you are most likely aware of the damage a speeding ticket can incur. While speeding is typically considered a traffic violation, driving at excessive rates of speed is a misdemeanor in California and can result in many serious consequences. In addition to always obeying posted signage relating to road speeds, you can also avoid a costly speeding ticket by keeping the following tips in mind.  

According to Popular Mechanics, there are a number of methods drivers can utilize to both avoid tickets, as well as dispute the validity of a speeding ticket in court. For instance, your behavior during a traffic stop can actually impact whether you receive a ticket. Restrained and courteous behavior is recommended, especially when refusing to answer an officer’s questions. Motorists are only obligated to present license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance during traffic stops. Further questions do not have to be answered, and drivers are fully within their rights to refuse questions that may serve to incriminate them in court.

It also helps to pay close attention to your surroundings when traveling by vehicle. Speed traps are increasingly common, and in many cases traffic patterns will clue you in to the presence of law enforcement. In the same token, the type of vehicle you drive can also increase your chances of being issued a ticket. Sports cars are often a target for police, more so than other types of vehicles that may be deemed family-friendly by popular opinion.

If you should receive a ticket, you can call into question the functionality of the device that clocked your speed. These devices (such as radar guns) must be calibrated according to manufacturer specifications to ensure they are correctly recording driver speeds. If a police department can’t show that a device has been calibrated (or if a device is unable to be calibrated), your ticket may be thrown out. You can access device specs by making a request to the department responsible for issuing your ticket.

What to do when your driver’s license is suspended

There are certain situations where you may have your driver’s license revoked or suspended under California law. This can make it nearly impossible to travel to work, school or anywhere else that you need to go. At the Law Offices of Amir Soleimanian & Associates, we know that having your driver’s license taken away can be a major inconvenience. It is crucial that you understand why your license was revoked, as well as what you can do in order to retain possession of your driver’s license.

According to the Superior Court of California, you may have your driver’s license suspended for a number of reasons, which include the following:

  •          Excessive points on your record.
  •          Failure to appear in court for a ticket.
  •          Convicted of a DUI.
  •          Refused to take a breath, blood or urine test if suspected of a DUI.
  •          Failure to pay child support.
  •          No insurance coverage.

In order to have your driver’s license reinstated, you must meet certain requirements. These requirements can differ depending on why your license was suspended in the first place. For example, if your license was taken away because of a DUI conviction, you will most likely have to wait for a period of time, pay a fine and complete a DUI treatment program. In some cases, you may be eligible for a restricted license, which entitles you to limited driving privileges while your driver’s license is under suspension.

To learn more about driver’s license suspension and reinstatement, visit our page on infraction driving violations.