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What happens if I refuse to take a DUI chemical test?

While it may not seem like a big deal at the time, refusal to take a chemical test when requested to do so during a suspected DUI traffic stop can result in serious penalties. In fact, all charges related to drunk driving can result in serious penalties, no matter what your offense may be, and you would be wise to work to confront these charges effectively.

The loss of your driving privileges is one of the most significant consequences of refusal to submit to a chemical test. You need a valid California license to go to work, school, transport your children and take care of everyday needs, and protecting your right to drive could be a crucial element of your defense.

The penalties for refusing to take a chemical test

You do have the right to refuse a chemical test. However, exercising that privilege comes with certain consequences, the severity of which depends on your drunk driving history. The penalties for refusing to comply with a chemical test are as follows if you are 21 years or older:

  • For your first offense, you will face a license suspension for a period of one year.
  • For a second offense within a 10-year period, you will face a license revocation of two years.
  • For a third or subsequent suspension within 10 years, you will face a license revocation of three years.

If you were under the age of 21 at the time you refused to submit to a chemical test, you could face the following penalties:

  • A first-time refusal will result in a one-year license suspension.
  • If you refuse for a second time within 10 years, you will face a license revocation for a period of two years.
  • A third or subsequent offense within 10 years will result in a three-year revocation of your license.

After an arrest for drunk driving or the threat of penalties related to refusing to submit to a chemical test, you may want to act quickly to protect your rights and interests.

Defending your rights and interests

Charges and penalties related to drunk driving in any way can be steep, inconvenient and have a serious impact on your life. You do not have to sit idly by and let whatever happens, happen, but you can be proactive in fighting for the protection of your rights and the security of your long-term interests.

After refusing to submit to a chemical test, you would be wise to learn how you can seek a beneficial outcome to your current situation.

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