When being pulled over by a cop in California for suspected drunk driving, refusing to cooperate is usually not going to help. If you know you haven’t been drinking then you’ve got nothing to hide, so why not take the test to clear your name quickly? Telling the officer you won’t take a breathalyzer test can lead to automatic license citation and possibly suspension.
Here are more details why cooperating with authorities is the easier route:
Implied Consent Laws
Even though you have the right to remain silent when you are confronted by an officer, DUI suspicion is associated with implied consent laws. Certain states such as California give you the choice of taking sobriety tests or facing penalties. Remember that the state views driving on public roads as a “privilege,” not a “right.” That means you consented to the rules that prohibit driving while intoxicated, whether you have been drinking or not. You do have the right to refuse a sobriety test, but the state also has the right to suspend your license if you do not submit, without the benefit of a trial or hearing.
How a DUI Attorney Can Help
Instead of jeopardizing losing your license right away, you are better off agreeing to the test and then letting a DUI attorney handle the case. If the test shows your blood alcohol content was within the legal limit, you will likely be off the hook, assuming you weren’t breaking other laws at the time. The attorney will review the police report and determine the best scenario for your situation, which could be a “no contest” plea that leads to lesser penalties. The attorney may also be able to argue your case was on borderline and that you were able to pass initial field sobriety tests.