What About Field Sobriety Tests?
Do Not Submit to Blow or Blood Tests
If you find yourself accused of any crime while in the United States of America, you should remember one key thing. It is not your responsibility to help the person accusing you of the crime to prove that you committed it. You are not required to help the accuser collect evidence against you.
Do Not Drink and Drive
No one should consume drugs that may cause impairment, or drink any amount of alcohol, and then operate a motor vehicle. This law exists for the safety of the driver, and for the safety of those around them. If you find yourself getting pulled over for a DUI, make sure to check out the best Houston DUI attorney pulled over guide for insight on what you should do.
Why You Should Not Take a Breathalyzer Test
Lawyers advise people to not submit to a breathalyzer test or a blood alcohol test or to take any other form of test to prove sobriety in the field because these tests could be used by the police to help prove that a person is guilty of driving while impaired. A lawyer would not advise someone to help their accuser build a case against them.
Lawyers are taught that they should help protect their clients. Helping an accuser prove guilt is not going to benefit the accused and runs against every premise that the United States Legal System holds to be important. In the United States, the burden is on the accuser to prove guilt. The accused does not need to prove that they are innocent.
Is There a Penalty For Refusing to Take a Test?
If you are asked to take a breathalyzer test, then there is a high chance that you will be arrested for Driving While Impaired. This means that your primary concern should be avoiding getting a criminal conviction because of this accusation. Once you have refused the test, the arresting officer has the option to obtain a warrant to order you to provide a blood sample. He may not do that, and because of this most lawyers will stick with the advice of saying don’t take the breath test.
After you refuse to take the breath test, you will likely be placed under arrest and have your license confiscated. You will be issued a piece of paper that will serve as a temporary license, and that piece of paper will also have a notice of suspension on it. You may face a civil penalty for refusing to submit to the tests. In Texas, there is an implied contract between road users and the Texas Department of Public Safety. This contract states that if you wish to drive in Texas, you will voluntarily submit to blood tests or blow into a breathalyzer if asked to do so by a law enforcement officer. Refusing to honor that implied contract means that you can have your license suspended. However, since you are trying to avoid a criminal conviction, it makes sense to accept the suspension in the short term.
If you refuse to take the test, then the officer can still arrest you. They cannot arrest you “because you refused the test” but they can arrest you for the slurred speech, erratic driving, or the smell of alcohol – basically, whatever it is that gave them a reason to ask you to take the test in the first place. So, if you have done something wrong, or the officer believes that you have done something wrong, you can still be arrested.
Is There a Penalty for Not Taking the Test?
There is no legal penalty for refusing to take the test. IF the officer pulls you over and asks you to take the test, then taking it is a risk, and refusing to take it is a better option because it means that you are not giving the officer any extra incriminating evidence. You are not under any obligation to incriminate yourself. If you pass the field sobriety test, then the officer can still detain you – passing the test does not mean that you are suddenly free to go if you smell of alcohol and you were driving dangerously. Taking a test can only hurt you.
So, if you are asked to take the test, refuse, and ask to speak to your lawyer. Remain calm, polite and personable, but do not answer the officer’s questions. Simply sit and wait until the lawyer arrives, and then follow your lawyer’s advice to avoid being put in an even worse situation. Ideally, you should be sober, and not face any charges.