How to beat DUI Refusal Cases: Strategies that work in defending DUI cases with no blood or breath sample.
A “refusal case” is particular type of DUI case where the driver refused to give law enforcement a blood or breath sample. These samples are used by law enforcement to measure the driver’s blood alcohol content and are perhaps the most important prosecution evidence in a DUI case. Without the blood or breath test, prosecutors do not have a measurement of the driver’s blood alcohol content, making a charge under CVC 23152 (B) difficult if not impossible.
Even if no blood or breath test is given, a person can still be charged with driving under the influence under CVC 23152(A). Charges under “the A count” as it is known amongst lawyers simply require the prosectuion to show that the driver was impaired while driving. Examples of impaired driving are:
-Bad driving (swerving, speeding, illegal lange changes)
-Eye-witnesses seeing the driver drive on the wrong side of the road
In these cases, the lack of a blood or breath sample is overcome by prosecutors because the driving by the defendant is so bad it can be used to show impairment.
Special Penalties for DUI Refusal Cases in California: Longer DMV license suspension and Court mandated jail time.
The DMV is particularlly harsh with DUI refusal cases, with a mandatory 1 year license suspension for cases involving a DUI refusal. This occurs through the DMV’s APS process (the DUI administrative hearing process) that involves harsh penalties to drivers facing DUI charges. For 2nd DUI cases, the suspension is longer: 2 years of no driving. This includes “To/From Work” and ALL driving. A DUI Refusal case invovles NO DRIVING whatsoever during the suspension period.
In court, the driver faces an “enhancement” to the underlying DUI charge. If a person is convicted of DUI and the court determines they also refused to provide law enforcement with a sample, jail time is imposed by the court at no less than 48 hours and no more than 6 months.
DUI Refusal Case Links:
California’s Implied Consent Law in the Vehicle Code