Saturday, March 23, 2013

Does California Allow A Urine Test For A DUI?

The answer to this question is both yes and no.  Let me explain, if you are arrested for a DUI in California you are given an option of taking either a blood or breath test if you are suspected of driving with a BAC of ,08 or more.   These are the state mandated choice of tests that satisfy a driver's requirements under the implied consent laws.  But is a urine test an option at all?  The answer is yes.  Once a person gives the state required breath test and a valid sample is obtained, the driver then has an option of giving a urine sample as a way to preserve the evidence for later testing.  You see. a breath sample cannot be saved for later analysis so California law under a case called Trombetta allows the accused to take a blood or urine, at their own expense, for future testing once the case gets into Court.

There is another way a person has a right to take a urine test.  If the arresting officer believes that the DUI suspect is under the influence of drugs as well as alcohol or if the only substance is drugs.  the choice of tests at that point is either blood or urine since a person's breath cannot give an accurate reading of the presence of drugs such as marijuana.  In this instance, the driver has the absolute right to submit to a urine test rather than a blood test unless, for some reason a urine test is unavailable.  Should a suspected DUI driver refuse to take either a blood or urine test when suspected of a DUID, under California DUI Laws, the driver will face the possible punishment of a suspension of up to 3 years by the California DMV.

In conclusion, a urine test is an option in certain circumstances within a California drunk driving context.  Specifically, when the driver takes a breath test and wants a sample of his or her urine to be saved for future toxicological analysis at his or her own expense.   Also, when the DUI suspect is believed to be under the influence of a drug which cannot be detected by a breath test.

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