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Top Ten Tips > Fighting a DUI Arrest

8. Chemical Test Refusals

The best Sonoma County DUI lawyers understand that if the police failed to obtain a sample of your breath, blood or urine, you may find yourself subjected to an allegation that you violated the implied consent law which requires that you provide such a sample pursuant to a valid arrest if Sonoma County law enforcement reasonably believed you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or else you may face certain penalties including loss of driving privileges for at least one year without the possibility of even a hardship or work license. (CVC 23612, 13353).

DMV Refusal FormWhat Did The Officer Say?

Although the bottom line is whether you provided a sample or not, much of the legal focus may shift to the Sonoma County officer who alleged the refusal. Santa Rosa DUI attorneys want to see if the officer had reasonable cause to believe you were DUI. Precisely where and when did he/she request that you provide the sample, precisely what did the officer say when he/she asked you to provide the sample, and precisely what warnings were given to you regarding the consequence of failing to provide the sample?

Defending a Refusal Allegation.

Most refusal allegations are won when your Sonoma County DUI Attorney can establish to the court and the Santa Rosa DMV that the arrest was not valid, or that the police officer who made the arrest failed to warn you that you would lose your license for a year or more if you refuse to provide a sample, or that you were incapable of understanding the warnings due to injury, or due the arresting officer's misinformation. If you submitted to the preliminary alcohol screening test (PAS), which does not satisfy the legal requirement of a post-arrest test, still, sometimes it is possible that one or more factors may allow the Santa Rosa DMV to accept the preliminary results and "dismiss" the refusal allegation when Santa Rosa DUI lawyers properly present any compelling evidence existing in your case, to avoid the unforgiving minimum one-year license suspension.

Refusal allegations can often be plea bargained out of a court case in Sonoma County, but the Santa Rosa DMV rarely bargains and will still suspend your license for at least one year without allowing you to obtain a restricted work license, so Santa Rosa DUI attorneys understand that defending a refusal case at the DMV is critical to preserving your driving privileges. Click on the 2019 Refusal Form to see the principal form which Sonoma County DUI lawyers must fight at a Santa Rosa DMV hearing to try to protect your license. You can also see the older 2016 Form, or the 2012 Form, or the 2009 Form, and also the Under-21 Refusal Form, and the Spanish Refusal Form.


Any result portrayed was dependent on the facts of that case, and the results will differ if based on different facts.

Our DUI Lawyers

Dave Jake Schwartz is an Honors Graduate from UC Hastings Law School, and UC Davis, former Federal Judicial Clerk, and Nationally Qualified Sobriety Tests Practitioner. Member of the California Bar for 30 years, Sonoma County resident for over 20 years, handles only DUI cases, including thousands of Sonoma County DUIs and DMV hearings: first/multiple offenders, minors, seniors, tourists, undocumented immigrants, veterans, probation violations, suspended license, public intoxication, open container, minor in possession, child endangerment, collisions, hit and run, evading, resisting arrest.


Dave Jake Schwartz