Exercise your right to remain silent. You do not need to answer any questions, such as whether you have been drinking. Exercising your right to remain silent may cause you to feel awkward, but it is important. You simply need to hand your driver’s license, insurance, and registration to the officer.
You are not required to take field sobriety tests (walk-and-turn, one-leg stand, etc.). The tests are difficult to pass, even when sober. The tests are given for the purpose of building a case against you. You should politely decline to take the tests.
While you might be fined for refusing, you are not required to take a “preliminary breath test.” This test consists of blowing into a small hand-held device. The test is given before an arrest. You may politely decline to take the test. Note that the preliminary breath test is different than the “blood, breath or urine” test that may be demanded after an arrest. The penalty for refusing to take a preliminary breath test is an a fine. The penalty for refusal to take a “blood, breath or urine” test is described on the “refusing or taking a breath test” page.
You should ask the officer for permission to leave, and you should make this request frequently.
If you are arrested, the officer will read you an “implied consent advisory” and then ask you if you will consent to a “blood, breath or urine” test. The officer gets to pick the form of the test and it is usually a breath test. Effective July 1, 2012, refusing to take this test is a crime if you have a prior test refusal or a DUI conviction or diversion after July 1, 2001. Additional information about taking or refusing the test can be found on the “refusing or taking a breath test” page.
If you take a breath test, ask for an independent blood test. The request triggers a requirement that police take you to get a blood test at a local hospital or other medical facility.
See a DUI Defense Team attorney right away. You have only 14 days to file a hearing request to challenge the suspension of your driver’s license
* These are generalities, not legal advice. For additional information, call the DUI Defense Team.