Saturday, January 14, 2017

Refusing To Submit To A Chemical Test For DUI Is Not A Violation Of PC 148

Many officers believe if a dui suspect refuses to take a breath or blood test during a drunk driving investigation then they are guilty of delaying an officer under PC 148.  Not so under California law according to People vs. Valencia 240 Cal.App.4th Supp. 11
In California, The “implied consent” sanctions under V.C. § 23612 are an administrative in nature, they being administrative- type sanctions only, which are necessary to encourage an arrestee to voluntarily submit to a blood or breath test and thus avoiding the possibility that force might be used (which it can if a warrant is obtained or the circumstances involve an exigency). And the enhanced penalties imposed under V.C. § 23577 apply only upon conviction for the underlying DUI offense itself. For these reasons, the Court found it “inappropriate” to charge and convict a person of P.C. § 148(a)(1) in the non-violent DUI refusal situation. Because the DUI laws already punish the person for not taking a test the court ruled a separate crime of PC 148 would not apply.