Basketball star pulled over on suspicion of DUI, refuses tests

On behalf of The Law Offices of Michael L. Davidson posted in Breath Test Refusal on Friday, October 11, 2013.

California law enforcement officials take drunk driving charges very seriously. Not only are the consequences for being convicted for driving under the influence of alcohol strict, but the actual laws are different than some people might expect. By refusing to take a chemical intoxication test, a person may unexpectedly face criminal charges.

Former Lakers and Clippers basketball player Lamar Odom recently found this out when he was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Police report that the athlete was swerving on the highway and traveling at only 50 mph. After cops pulled him over, Odom apparently failed field sobriety tests and refused to take a chemical test when he was brought to the local jail.

Because Odom didn’t submit to the blood-alcohol test, he was charged for DUI and could lose his driver’s license for one year. The Los Angeles Times points out that breath test refusal alone doesn’t result in charges, but a person is then required to submit to tests while in police custody or they will be charged. What’s also interesting, according to the same report, is that California law enforcement doesn’t permit individuals suspected of drunk driving to speak with an attorney before they submit to or refuse the intoxication screenings.

Public safety officials say that California drivers consent to blood-alcohol testing when they obtain a license. Implied consent laws, such as this, put drivers in a very difficult position. Either they submit to a test that may prove incriminating or they automatically face criminal charges. Moreover, some drivers may not be aware of exactly what these laws mean when they get behind the wheel, which can prove to be detrimental.

Since being charged, Odom has pled not guilty in court. It’s unclear what defense Odom will offer in this case, but he is considered innocent until proven otherwise.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Lamar Odom pleads not guilty in DUI case,” Ruben Vives, Oct. 9, 2013

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The Law Offices of Michael L. Davidson
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San Mateo, CA 94402

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