California Court Says DUI License Suspension OK Even If Not Driving

Supreme Court of the State of California has ruled that motorists don’t have to be caught in the act of driving under the influence to lose their driver’s licenses.

Under California law, if you have been suspected of driving while intoxicated, and refuse to take a breath test, your license will be automatically suspended. The Supreme Court ruling says the penalty for refusing a test to measure blood alcohol content applies broadly to all those who drive and use the public streets and highways and no proof is required of actual driving immediately prior to a suspected DUI arrest.

The issue stems from a 2003 case where Terry Troppman was found passed out behind the wheel of her car while parked on the side of the road. Police suspected intoxication and administered a series of field sobriety tests, which Troppman failed. A partially consumed bottle of wine was found in her vehicle though Troppman denied drinking and driving. She said she had consumed the wine only while sitting in her parked car. Even though no one had witnessed Troppman driving after drinking, when she refused to submit to a breath test, her license was suspended.

The ruling by the high court affirms the act of refusal is sufficient to result in the revocation of one’s license.

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