No one likes getting stopped by police. There are many opinions on how to avoid a traffic ticket when you get stopped by police, but little advice on how to avoid a DUI arrest. It is important for all drivers to understand what goes on during a DUI arrest and the best way to handle being stopped by police.
If you are driving a police officer pulls you over, it is important to know that the officer must have a reasonable and articulable reason to stop your vehicle, i.e. you must have made some driving error or be stopped at a sobriety checkpoint. You cannot be legally stopped by police because they saw you leave a bar and decided to stop you in order to check your BAC. Law enforcement may ask you to take a breath test. California Highway Patrol officers use a PAS breathalyzer system. This measures your blood alcohol concentration but is not always accurate. The results can be used as evidence against you in court but it is crucial to realize that you do not have to take it to a PAS test.
If you are arrested you will be taken to the police station where you will be asked to take a chemical sobriety test. This can either be a blood test or a breath test. If you refuse to take these tests, the good news is that you will not give any evidence that you are under the influence, but you will face a year of license suspension for violation of the implied consent law. It is up to you to decide if you want to take one of these tests or not. Some feel that it is a total gamble because you could avoid DUI conviction but you could get convicted anyway and have additional penalties for refusing.