Refusing To Cooperate With A DUI Stop: What It Can Mean

If you have been pulled over on the suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), you might have wondered what would have happened if you refused to go along with law enforcement at the stop. You should never refuse to identify yourself or step out of the car if you are asked to. However, do you have the right to refuse to perform a roadside sobriety test and more? Read on and find out more.

Field Sobriety Testing

The three main sobriety tests commonly used are meant to test a suspect's ability to listen, follow directions, and perform the tests correctly.

  1. Horizontal gaze nystagmus
  2. Walk-and-turn
  3. One-leg stand

These tests are controversial since the results can be influenced by physical issues, lighting, location of the tests, uneven ground, glaring lights, and more. The tests also assume that the suspect can adequately hear and understand the directions. Usually, the subject is also administered a breathalyzer test either on the roadside or back at the police station to determine blood alcohol concentrations. Nothing can be done to force you to take a field sobriety test, no matter how much pressure is placed upon you to participate. You cannot be arrested just for refusing to do those field tests. However, refusing to take the breathalyzer test is something different.

Breathalyzer Tests

These tests involve blowing into a tube attached to a measuring device to measure the alcohol in the expressed breath. However, the portable devices used on the roadside might not be accurate. Nevertheless, if the reading falls within the guidelines, you can be transported to the station and administered a test using a larger, more accurate machine. The results of a breathalyzer test can lead to an arrest and a DUI conviction if you don't take action to defend yourself. Test results, even those at the station, can be influenced by several factors and your criminal defense lawyer will know how to fight them. However, what if you refuse to undergo the test in the first place?

Refusing the Breathalyzer

In some states, it is illegal to refuse to take a breath test and you can be arrested and jailed for such an offense. In many cases, the law says you can lose your driver's license after such a refusal even if you are later found to be innocent of the DUI. Instead of refusing to take the breathalyzer, cooperate with law enforcement and then speak to a criminal defense lawyer about your charges as soon as you are released on bail.

For more information, talk to a DUI defense lawyer today.