This is a great question. It comes up all the time because people actually think they have all these rights when it comes to the police investigating them for a DUI. Their rights are very limited. This implied consent law comes right into play. Basically, it says if you want your driver's license you have to abide by certain rules. Driving on our roads in California is a privilege, not a right. If you want to enjoy that privilege, if the police believe you've been drinking and driving you have to cooperate with them.
You Can't Refuse Blood or Breath Tests For DUI Cases in Los Angeles
You have to give them your blood or breath. You have to cooperate with them. You can't refuse and that's the implied consent law. If the police think you've been drinking alcohol, using drug or any other substance and you cannot safely operate a motor vehicle in Los Angeles and they approach you and ask you to give a blood or breath test, then you have to cooperate with them.
If you don't do that they're going to consider it as a refusal and they are going to automatically assume and presume that you're DUI, and so will the courts and so will a jury because that's what they're going to be instructed to do by a criminal judge in a DUI prosecution and that really all centers around and stems from this implied consent law as it relates to DUI's.
Public Safety Concerns in Los Angeles
The reason for this is very simple. People on the road kill other people. People who drink and drive kill other people. So, the legislature feels that they have to protect society and the public from those individuals who drink and drive or use drugs and drive or any other substance and they can't drive safely.
So, then what they're going to do is say, if you're going to jeopardize people, if you're going to hurt people, then we're going to have to set up laws and rules and punishments related to your activity to act as a deterrent to stop you from doing it to protect the public.
So, if someone is talking about the implied consent law related to a DUI, they're talking about your duty and your responsibility as someone who got a driver's license in California — in Los Angeles specifically which is one of the biggest metropolises in the world — all kinds of accident, drunk drivers, people driving on illegal substances, people driving on prescription medication which has been prescribed to them but they shouldn't be driving on them and mixing it with alcohol.
In the police's difficult job of ferreting out crime — and specifically figuring out if people are driving under the influence — they've got to have a weapon like this because if they didn't every single person that gets stopped and was under the suspicion of a DUI would simply refuse to cooperate with them – wouldn't do the test — they could never prove anybody guilty of a DUI.
Miranda Rights In Los Angeles DUI Cases
So, that's why we have the implied consent law. Of course, there's limitations. Of course ,you have Miranda rights. Of course, you have rights of being illegally stopped, illegally searched, but you've got to get an attorney to look into everything and help you make a decision whether your rights were violated and if they were what you're going to do about it to defend yourself in your DUI case, and if the implied consent law is involved, this is something you're going to need to talk to your attorney about.
Be honest. Give him all the facts and details and let them guide you through a sometimes difficult system.