Should I Refuse the Breathalyzer and Field Sobriety Test?

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges can and will change the course of your life. People who are convicted of a DUI can end up losing their license, their job, their freedom, and their family – not to mention the significant risk potential victims of a DUI accident face.

Alabama drivers are aware of this which often leads to people sitting on the side of the road with police lights in their rearview mirrors, considering the possibility of refusing a breathalyzer or field sobriety test. It’s important to understand the repercussions and what your options are before you end up in this situation.

You Can Refuse the Field Sobriety Test

We’ve covered the myths of DUIs before, and this is one of the most common ones. The field sobriety test can include a variety of tests to see if you are cognitively capable of operating a vehicle or potentially under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

There are a number of reasons a sober person could fail one of these tests. You could have a disability, you may overthink or be too anxious to pass the test, or the cop may even misjudge your performance and still arrest you if you pass the test. You may think “I’m not drunk so I’m fine” but it’s important to consider your options before agreeing to the test.

Refusing the Breathalyzer Comes with Consequences

Refusing the sobriety test and refusing the breathalyzer are two different scenarios. If you refuse the breathalyzer, your license will automatically be suspended for 90 days under Alabama Code Section 32-5-192.

This is because of what is called “implied consent.” In Alabama, all drivers imply that they are consenting to chemical or blood tests when they get behind the wheel of a car. This consent cannot be revoked even if you are unconscious.

Refusing May Be Your Best Choice

A 90-day suspension of your license is not nearly as damaging as the consequences that come with failing a breathalyzer or being convicted of a DUI. If you know you’re going to fail the test, declining the test is likely your best option.

It’s also necessary to note that breathalyzer tests aren’t always accurate. There are other things that can trigger a positive test such as a defective device or improper administration of the test.

Contact an Attorney

Whether you refuse these tests or not, you need an attorney who knows how to manage DUI cases. The cops may pressure you into giving up the rights afforded to you by the state of Alabama, but an attorney will protect your rights.

Attorney John M. Totten gives his clients the power of representation in each case. If you are being accused of driving under the influence in Alabama, contact us immediately

John M. Totten