Understand Your Rights After A DUI Stop

Many drivers suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) are unaware of their rights — and whether those rights have been compromised. At Rien, Adams & Cox, LLP, our highly trained attorneys will help you both understand and assert your rights. From our offices in Livermore, we serve clients across the Bay Area, Central Valley and surrounding areas of Northern California.

Here are a few common questions and answers regarding a person's right after a DUI stop:

Do I Have The Right To Refuse A Breath Test If I Have Not Been Arrested?

Yes. In California, if you have been pulled over by an officer or stopped at a sobriety checkpoint, you can refuse to take a preliminary breath test, also known as a Preliminary Alcohol Screening test (PAS), when requested.

Keep in mind, however, that this refusal will not necessarily prevent an arrest if the officer believes you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Do I Have The Right To Refuse Breath Or Blood Tests After An Arrest?

No. The state of California operates under "implied consent" laws when it comes to DUI arrests. In practice, this means you are legally obligated to submit to a breath or blood test. Failure to take a blood or breath test may result in serious consequences, including a one year license revocation, increased jail time and additional penalties if you are found guilty.

Are Sobriety Checkpoints Legal?

Yes. However, specific standards are in place that dictate how checkpoints are set up and operated. Our lawyers may be able to prove that the checkpoint at which you were stopped did not meet constitutional standards.

Under California law, roadblocks set up as sobriety checkpoints must be advertised in advance, contain appropriate lighting, and exhibit sufficient official indications so the driver is aware he or she is driving into a checkpoint area. In addition, all drivers should be detained for only brief periods of time, unless officers suspect someone is driving under the influence.

If you believe that your rights have been violated in connection with a DUI stop or arrest, our attorneys are here for you. Simply call Rien, Adams & Cox, LLP, at 925-344-4634 to set up a free consultation, or contact us online.

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