Implied Consent and Blood Alcohol Tests

A California driver's license carries with it a certain legal obligation in the event you are pulled over on suspicion of DUI. Just having a driver's license in California means you've already agreed to submit to a field sobriety test and to a subsequent blood alcohol test in the event you fail the field sobriety test. This in known as "implied consent" and is automatically agreed to whenever someone applies for a driver's license. Every licensed driver has actually agreed to be tested in exchange for their right to drive on California's freeways, streets, and highways.

The Field Sobriety Test

If a driver is pulled over on a routine drunk driving stop and the police officer suspects intoxication, a preliminary test called a field sobriety test may be conducted. These are a series of physical and mental exercises that police administer in DUI investigations. The officer will use the test results to establish probable cause that you were driving under the influence. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) guidelines were set up to help make these tests more accurate. They are now called "standardized field sobriety tests."

Blood Alcohol Content Test

Failure of the field sobriety test will initiate the next step in the process, if the officer decides to place you under arrest. That step is a blood alcohol test (BAC) test and must be taken at the time of arrest. The officer should offer the choice between a blood or breath test. Breath analysis is by far the most commonly used method of testing for blood alcohol as it is easily administered. Refusing the test is no guarantee of avoiding a DUI conviction. If neither blood nor breath tests are available, then a urine test is required.

Protect Yourself. Talk to a Lawyer About Your Case

Enter Your Zip Code to Connect with a Lawyer Serving Your Area

How it Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you
FACING A DUI?

Talk to a DUI Defense attorney

We've helped 115 clients find attorneys today.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you