Can I Refuse a Breath Test if Stopped for DUI in Boise?

If you’re out drinking with your friends, you should never get behind the wheel. You can call a taxi or an Uber. For a few dollars, you can avoid killing another driver. You can also avoid getting arrested for DUI. If you get stopped for DUI, you’ll probably be asked to do a field sobriety test. You’ll also be asked to submit to a breathalyzer to test your blood alcohol level. These are the best ways for an officer to determine if you’re drunk or not.

Chances are, if you’ve been drinking, the officer can tell. Police officers are trained to detect the signs of intoxication. They can also smell the alcohol coming off your breath.

A lot of people may tell you that you don’t have to do the field sobriety test. They’ll also tell you to refuse the breathalyzer.

Technically, they are right. You can absolutely refuse to do both of these things. Just be prepared to face the consequences if you do.

What does a Field Sobriety Test Entail?

If you’re suspected of driving under the influence, the cops are going to ask you to do two things. First, they’ll ask you to do a field sobriety test. If you fail the sobriety test, they’ll ask you to submit to a breathalyzer.

The field sobriety test requires you to perform a handful of acts that let the officer gauge whether or not you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You’ll probably be asked to perform some or all of the following:

  • Stand on one leg for a period of time and count
  • Walk a straight line with the heel to toe, pivot, and return to the starting point
  • Say the alphabet backward
  • Follow a penlight with your eyes

All of these things test your coordination and motor skills response time. If you fail these tests, the officer will ask you to take a breathalyzer test.

Police officers carry portable breathalyzer tests. They’re tiny machines attached to little tubes. You breathe hard into the tube for about 5-6 seconds. It is able to measure your blood alcohol content. If your BAC is higher than .08, you’ll be arrested for DUI. Even if your BAC is slightly lower than BAC, if you perform really poorly on the field sobriety test, you may still be arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence.

Your Boise DUI Attorney Knows You Can Legally Refuse the Tests

In Boise, Idaho, you can legally refuse both the field sobriety test and the breathalyzer. Nobody can force you to stand on one leg or recite the alphabet backward. You can also refuse to take the breathalyzer. However, if you refuse to take the field sobriety test or breathalyzer, the officer can ask for a warrant to conduct a blood test.

The blood test can measure your BAC even better than a breathalyzer. All the officer has to do is call a judge and ask for a warrant right over the phone. Once he has the warrant, he’s allowed to conduct the test whether you like it or not.

So, there is a key difference between being legally able to refuse the tests and having a right to not take the tests.

By agreeing to drive on the roads in Idaho, you consent to be evaluated for a DUI. If a cop pulls you over for suspicion of DUI, they have a right to ask you to take the tests. And, you have a right to refuse them. However, you will face some serious consequences.

 

Boise DUI Lawyers Also Know the Consequences of Refusing the Tests

If you refuse the field sobriety test or breathalyzer, you’ll be facing some serious charges. You will face a fine of $250 and your driver’s license will be suspended for one (1) year. You’ll face these consequences whether you’re eventually convicted of DUI or not.

Your Boise DUI defense attorney can try to get the charges for DUI dropped. But there’s not a whole lot he can do to erase the fine or reduce the suspension.

If you’ve been charged with DUI and refused the breathalyzer, call a Boise DUI defense lawyer today. You’re facing some serious penalties and you need the benefit of an experienced defense lawyer.

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