If you are ever stopped by a police officer and asked to submit to a field breathalyzer test, you have the right to refuse. You can also refuse to take a field sobriety test. However, there are pros and cons to refusing to abide with the officer's request. Knowing the following information can help you decide the best course of action if you are ever stopped by a law enforcement officer after you have had a few drinks.
Refusing the Breathalyzer
Until you have been arrested or there is a warrant issued, you do not have to submit to a field breathalyzer test. Unfortunately, refusing the test will usually result in your license being suspended. Driving on public roads is a privilege, not a right. Any time you are using that privilege you are giving the state implied consent to test your ability to drive safely. In addition, not taking the test looks like you have something to hide.
However, by not taking the test in the field, your DUI lawyer can argue there was no valid grounds for an arrest. The officer may say that you appeared to be intoxicated, but without proof, the court will have a hard time proving it. If your last drink was not right before you were pulled over, your blood alcohol level will decrease over time. This means any mandatory test you are given after being taken into the station or after a warrant has been issued, will give a lower result. Hopefully, this lower result will not be high enough to justify keeping you any longer.
Taking the Breathalyzer Test in the Field
If you know that you will fail the test, or if your last drink was close to the time you were pulled over, taking the test will provide the officer with a reason to arrest you. You will need to have someone post bail to get you released from jail. If, on the other hand, you are positive you will not fail the test, taking it will allow you to continue on your way and will not result in a license suspension.
However, even if you do fail the test in the field, your DUI attorney can usually find a way to cast suspicion on the results. Your attorney may be able to show that the machine was not calibrated recently, increasing the odds that the reading was wrong. If the officer did not observe you for 20 minutes before giving you the test, your lawyer can say you did something that increased the reading, such as burping. In addition, if the officer did not observe you, it is hard to prove you were doing anything that warranted giving the test.
It can be a tough decision to take or refuse an in-field breathalyzer test. When it comes down to it, cooperating with the police will look better in court. If the test proved you deserve a DUI, let an experienced attorney find a way to interpret the results for your best defense.
For more information, contact a firm like Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham, LLC..Share
20 August 2015
Although I am far from perfect, I have focused on abiding by the local laws for the vast majority of my life. Unfortunately, about five years ago, I realized that I was being accused of a crime that I didn't commit. I thought about letting the trial run its course, but then I realized that fighting would be important to ensure my future. I teamed up with a great lawyer, and things became much easier overnight. My legal counsel told me what to do and what to avoid, and he was able to prove the facts in a court of law. This blog is all about choosing to fight charges.