Many in Encino likely know that by refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test after having been stopped by law enforcement officials, one could face serious consequences. Such a choice will likely result in one’s arrest, followed by a license revocation, as well as fines and potentially imprisonment. Yet there are still some legal experts who recommend that people refuse such tests. This may prompt one to question why?

Yet first things first: Why is one compelled to take a sobriety test upon request? Implied consent laws basically state that by the mere act of driving, one agrees to submit to chemical testing to the check his or her level of suspected impairment. According to California’s implied consent law (which can be found in Section 23612 of the California Vehicle Code), a refusal to submit to such testing will result in one’s license automatically being suspended for one year. That time increases to two and then three years for any subsequent refusals within a 10-year period.

However, the law also goes on to state that one arrested for driving under the influence has the right to determine which form of testing he or she would prefer: blood or breath. Research data shared by the online media company Attn: shows that several elements can influence the outcome of a breathalyzer test, including:

  •          Breath interacting with mucous in the throat
  •          Differing lung capacity
  •          Obstructive lung diseases such as asthma, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis
  •          Anxiety and stress
  •          The use of mouthwash or cough drops

Each of these factors can call into question the accuracy of a breathalyzer test. Thus, a blood test may provide a much more accurate measurement (along with potentially sparing one from being charged with driving while intoxicated if it comes in at below .08 percent).