The police may catch you driving home after an evening out. After engaging you in conversation, the officer may ask you to go through a series of sobriety tests. Do you have to agree?
A few elements come into play during a traffic stop that alert the police to possible intoxication. When it comes to roadside tests, however, you may not have to comply.
Why did the officer stop you?
A crucial element to the validity of a DUI stop is the initial reason the officer states for stopping you. The police need to witness you breaking the law before pulling you to the side. Unless your driving was erratic, suspicion of impaired driving is not enough to stop you.
What are roadside tests?
Field sobriety testing is a series of physical challenges that may help the police gauge your level of intoxication. These test your balance, coordination and comprehension of directions. However, several factors may impact the results of this test, including medical conditions. As such, you may want to decline the request to perform them.
What about a breath test?
The most significant tool in an officer’s arsenal when it comes to proving DUI is a breath test. An officer may ask you to agree to take one. However, absent a warrant, you do not have to do either a breath or blood test. Keep in mind that the major repercussion for refusing a breath test is that the police may take your license on the spot. A condition to having a license is consenting to a reasonable request by police to take a breath test.
A DUI stop may hamper more than your evening plans. Knowing your rights before it happens can make all the difference for your defense.