You probably already know that if the police suspect you've been driving under the influence, they have the right to pull you over and assess your blood alcohol content. This evaluation may be performed in a number of ways, the most popular of which is through a breathalyzer test. Another method, which is perhaps one of the most accurate and scientific techniques that police use to understand your blood alcohol content, is to take a sample of your blood. However, many drivers are confused about the rules and regulations surrounding the legality of blood samples, most notably whether or not the police may withdraw your blood without your consent.
In a nutshell, with few exceptions, the police can't legally take blood from a driver suspected of DUI against their will unless they have a warrant. This is true even if the police reasonably suspect the driver of alcohol use. However, it's important to note that if you refuse to submit to a blood test, you may still be required to take a breath test. In any case, if you think your blood was withdrawn without your consent or if you need help defending your rights against your blood test results, contact the experienced legal professionals at Aron Law Firm today.
When Does California Law Require a DUI Blood Test?
It's crucial to note the nuances surrounding California's implied consent law. In general, California drivers all consent to take a DUI blood or breath test if they're lawfully arrested for driving under the influence. However, drivers don't have to take a blood test and are instead given the option to decide between a breath and blood test. Exceptions arise in the following scenarios:
- If the driver is unconscious
- If the driver has been taken to a facility where breath testing isn't available
- If the police have a warrant
- If the police reasonably believe the driver was under the influence of drugs
- If the police suspect you've committed a felony
This rule is relatively new in California. Prior to the laws changing in 2018, a warrant was required for a blood draw. Today, even if the police don't have a warrant, they may still draw your blood if you voluntarily and freely choose a blood test over a breath test or if you fall into one of the exceptions listed above.
Is It Better to Take a Blood Test or a Breath Test If You've Been Pulled Over for DUI in California?
Predominantly, drivers tend to choose breath tests over blood tests because they're faster and less invasive. However, there are a few reasons why you may prefer a blood test. For one, breathalyzers measure the amount of alcohol in your system by mathematically converting this number to an approximately equivalent BAC, a formula known as a “partition ratio.” Because everyone's partition ratio is different, some people consider blood tests a more accurate measure of BAC than breath tests. Additionally, a portion of your blood sample may be saved for later retesting, which is sometimes a significant advantage.
Contact the Knowledgeable Criminal Defense Lawyers at The Aron Law Firm
Contact the Aron Law Firm today if you've been arrested for driving under the influence or have additional questions about providing consent for blood tests in California. We'll not only help you understand your situation and the options you have based on the circumstances of your case, but our skilled California criminal defense lawyers may be able to help you sidestep the penalties associated with a conviction. After investigating your case in detail and building a robust defense, our legal team will do everything in our power to protect your rights.
At the Aron Law Firm, our team is well versed in DUI defense law and may help you dodge the consequences that stem from this offense. We have a wealth of experience helping clients with legal issues avoid a wide variety of criminal charges. We focus on our client's well-being as we work to make the legal process as painless as possible. To discuss your case with a criminal defense attorney, schedule a consultation by calling (805) 618-1768 or completing our online contact form today.