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Automatic Arrest for DUI from refusal to take field breathalizer?

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Question by Pete: Automatic Arrest for DUI from refusal to take field breathalizer?
I am over 21 yearls old in the state of CA. Had 1.5 glasses of wine within half hour I got pulled over. Took all the field sobriety test. Did well but my eyes were flickering b/c of the increase in blood to my system from the wine. Officers asked me if I wanted to take the “voluntary” field breathalizer. Said if I pass I go home and if not take the test in jail. I declined to take field breathalizer and was arrested and spent the night in jail. Took the breathalizer at the station with a BAC of .04. My ticket had 2 violations. 1. DUI CVC 23152(a) and 2. reckless driving CVC 23103(a).

Reason I did not take the field breathalizer was b/c this was my 1st time DUI pull over and wanted to buy myself more time. Frankly, if I knew I was below the limit I would take the field breathalizer.

I don’t understand why I would automatically be arrested for refusal to take the “voluntary” field breathalizer? Doesn’t the law contradict itself if I took the field breathalizer and comes out .04 (go home, no infractions) and at station .04 (2 charges above)? I felt that this was an ultimatum.

If my charges are dropped for the DUI of .04 will the reckless driving charge be dropped as well or is this a separate issue? When I contact for DMV hearing should I request for both charges to be dropped?? Any advice is helpful. Thank you.

Best answer:

Answer by Anna!
In most states refusal to voluntarily take the breathalyzer is an automatic arrest. Why would you want to buy yourself more time anyways? You were under the influence, you got caught, and you deserve to be punished for taking the lives of others into your hands.

Charges are handled separately, but refusal to submit to a breathalyzer is a different offense and they assume your breathalyzer results were lower at the station than they would have been in the field because time had elapsed.

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May 28th, 2014 at 3:12 pm

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