Police officers have the right to pull anybody over that they suspect to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while driving. If you find yourself in this situation and they are asking for a breathalyzer or field sobriety test, you likely have some questions about what will happen and what you can do.
Can You Decline A Breathalyzer Test?
If the police officer asks you to take a breathalyzer test after being pulled over, it is normal to have hesitations about taking this test and what the police officer will see. Be aware that there may be penalties associated with refusing to take a breathalyzer test, and you could be arrested and fined as a result. If you have not been drinking or feel that your blood alcohol levels will be low because you have been drinking responsibly, there is no reason to decline a breathalyzer test. There are more consequences than good that can come out of declining the test if you are sober at the time.
If you did have a single drink and are worried about the results of the breathalyzer test, you can politely ask the officer to perform a field sobriety test instead. There are several techniques that they can use to determine if you are capable of driving without using the breathalyzer test. Keep in mind, you may still be asked to take a breathalyzer test if you fail the field sobriety tests.
Can You Decline A Field Sobriety Test?
It is possible that the police officer wants to perform a field sobriety test, but there are conditions that are preventing you from taking it successfully. For example, there is a test where you stand on one leg for 30 seconds, which may be incredibly difficult to do if you currently have an injury that would prevent you from doing it successfully. The same can be said for other tests, like the walk-and-turn field test.
You should notify the officer of any injury that would prevent you from doing a test that involves walking. Ask them to offer an alternative test, such as the horizontal gaze test, which would not require physical movement. If they insist on you doing a walking or standing test, know that declining the test could lead to your arrest.
Feel like you were not tested properly or the test was flawed? Reach out to a DUI lawyer in your area for assistance.