What Must an Officer Tell Someone Following a DUI Arrest?

  • May 25, 2017

    Everything that needs doing has a due process that must be followed diligently and step by step to the very end. Talk of a driver who has been arrested due to driving under the influence. That marks the start of a legal process and the DUI process whose next step is chemical testing. At this point, the driver is expected to submit to either of the two available tests, blood test or breath tests. Drivers in Los Angeles are offered the two options when fully arrested on suspicion of DUI.

    However, not all drivers comply with the DUI process. Some of them refuse to take either of the chemical tests, which results in DUI charges followed by a one-year driver’s license suspension. After the arrest, the DUI suspect receives admonitions from the arresting officer as the law outlines. The admonitions are ensured that the drivers are well informed of their rights and responsibilities. Failure to provide a warning or giving an improper admonition may render any subsequent test refusal invalid.

    • Refusal Admonition

    The arresting officer has an obligation to inform a driver on the arrest list for DUI about the appropriate testing options at his or her disposal. Also, the officer must notify him or her of the consequences of test refusal. Under normal circumstances, the officer reads the driver an admonition that accurately describes the driver’s rights and options. The admonition could either be in an audio form or in a video recording, which is later on provided as part of the DUI discovery process. Admonition reading is followed by questions from the officer to the driver and not vice versa. The officer should ask the driver if he or she would like to take a breath or blood test if he or she is suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

    However, drivers suspected of driving under the influence of drugs are not given the breath test option since no breath test can measure for the presence or absence of drugs. Most importantly, it is advisable to note that drivers are not given the opportunity to contact a lawyer before selecting a test.

    • Challenging the Refusal Admonition

    Like any other process, even the DUI process is subject to challenge. Some drivers charged with DUI refusal may opt to challenge the refusal allegation in case the refusal admonition was incomplete or else improperly executed. Therefore, even the courts have consented to the move that drivers must be given every chance to comply with testing. It only means that in case the driver defies the taking of one form of testing, he or she must be given the other testing alternative. Thus, in an instance where the officer failed to do this, the driver may challenge any successive license suspension with the DMV or refusal allegation in court.

    More so, the officer must exhibit high level of clarity while providing the admonition to the driver, deliver it strictly and to the letter to avoid cases of being termed improper by the court. Besides, some drivers may not understand the officer’s admonition due to various unforeseen factors like a hearing deficiency or some other medical condition that may hinder their level of understanding. In such a case, the driver’s attorney may challenge any subsequent refusal allegation.

    • Consequences of DUI Refusal

    Also, the officer is obligated to inform the driver about the probable consequences of DUI refusal. Refusal to be tested will lead to charges of a DUI offense and also a refusal allegation that is bound to add mandatory jail time to any underlying sentence. Besides, the DMV issues a one-year driver’s license suspension to first-time offenders refusing to take the chemical test.

    If you are facing charges due to a DUI offense, it goes without saying that you need to make haste contact with an experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney with the relevant knowledge and experience to handle your case efficiently both in court and before the DMV.

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