If you’re stopped at a roadside or checkpoint as part of a DUI investigation, you’ll be asked to do what’s known as a “Preliminary Alcohol Screening” test (“PAS“) prior to any arrest. You may have a right to refuse.
A PAS test is part of an officer’s field sobriety tests and is usually performed on the scene as part of the traffic incident using a breathalyzer or alcohol breath test kit. A PAS test is a way to detect intoxication early, prior to the use of more reliable chemical tests, such as blood and urine samples.
Many drivers commonly ask a DUI lawyer if they should submit to a PAS test before being arrested. If you’re an adult, have no prior DUI convictions, and are not on probation, then taking the PAS test is totally voluntary. However, if you refuse to submit to a PAS test there is a chance your license will immediately be revoked until you submit to further chemical tests.
Certain drivers cannot refuse a PAS test before arrest. A driver under 21 or who is on probation must submit to the test. If the person is on probation, refusing the test is also considered a violation of their probation’s terms and conditions.
If you are lawfully arrested for alcohol or drugs, under Vehicle Code VC 23612 (Implied Consent for Chemical Testing), you are required to submit to chemical blood tests and breath tests. After being formally arrested for DUI, you cannot refuse the chemical tests without facing serious penalties and consequences according to Department of Motor Vehicle regulations.
If you are a first time DUI offender, the penalties for refusing a chemical test are fine, imprisonment in county jail if convicted, one year’s driver’s license suspension, and a required 9-month alcohol education program. For a second DUI and refusal your license will be revoked for two years and there will be extra jail time. A third arrest and refusal will be more jail time and license revocation for three years. Refusal to take the test also means there will be no special restrictions on your suspended license, such as the permission to drive to work.
If you have been arrested for suspected DUI and have refused a PAS test or chemical tests, it is imperative that you contact a DUI criminal defense attorney such as Sevens Legal, APC, immediately. Contact Sevens Legal, APC, today for a free consultation.