Stopped for a DUI? What Tests Should You Take or Refuse?
A police officer might think that you’re under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both before you’re even pulled over. To confirm the officer’s belief that indeed you might be under the influence, that officer will ask you to perform certain field sobriety tests. An experienced Georgia DUI lawyer will tell you that you don’t have to take those tests. The Law Office of Donald C. Beskin PC agrees. That’s because by taking the field sobriety tests, you might be giving the prosecution more evidence to help prove your guilt. If you do not think you will pass the tests, do not take them.
Nearly all drivers believe that field sobriety tests are mandatory. Any Georgia DUI attorney will tell you that they are not and you do not have to consent to taking them.. You might think that the officer who stopped you is ordering you to take the tests, but if you listen carefully, he or she is merely asking you to take them. Georgia law doesn’t require you to take a single field sobriety test. Remember that your actions will be videotaped by a police cam. If you do not think you will pass the tests, do not take them.
The law does not require you to submit to any breath tests either. Don’t confuse roadside breath testing with testing at the police station. Although there might be consequences affecting your driver’s license as a result of refusing breath testing at the station, the refusal will require the prosecutor to prove your guilt as a “less safe” driver without having any blood alcohol percentage to refer to. If you think you will pass the breath test, you should take it. Otherwise, politely tell the officer that you refuse.
Only a licensed physician, registered nurse or phlebotomist is allowed to take a blood sample from you in Georgia. Just as you can refuse to take a breath test, you can refuse to submit to a blood test without a search warrant. That refusal might prompt the investigating officer, in rare cases, to ask for such a warrant. In which case, you cannot refuse. If you do refuse, expect to face other charges, even if you haven’t been drinking or using any drugs.
You don’t want to provide the police and prosecutors the evidence that they need to convict you. If you are charged with DUI, you should consult and retain an attorney and Don Beskin has been representing people charged with DUI for over 40 years.