Traversing California roads is a privilege, or so says the Department of Motor Vehicles. When a police officer stops you and requests you to comply with roadside testing, do you have to?
The implied consent law on the books in most states suggests that you have already agreed to partake in breath, blood or urine testing if a police officer makes a reasonable request that you do. Learn more about what the law means in California and whether you can get around it.
Does the law require you to comply?
You have the right to remain silent under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This also protects you against becoming a witness and incriminating yourself. When a police officer requests that you take a breath test or other means to measure your blood alcohol content, you may not believe you should, as it may incriminate you. Thus, under the Constitution, you have the right to say no.
What about implied consent?
If the police execute a lawful arrest, the implied consent law indicates that you must comply with their testing request. If you invoke your Fifth Amendment rights and refuse the testing, you may lose your license on the spot. This suspension is a minimum of one year whether you wind up facing charges for the DUI or not.
There are pros and cons to the implied consent law and whether you refuse the request. If you find yourself in this situation, consider speaking to a professional who deals with this issue regularly.