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Can You Refuse Sobriety Tests and Breathalyzer?

Richard S. Lundin
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Personal injury and family law attorney licensed to practice in Maryland and the District of Columbia

Blog Category:
10/17/2019
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If you’re pulled over by the police and suspected of DUI, you will probably be asked to perform sobriety tests, such as walk-and-turn, one-leg stand and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test.

 

Sobriety tests are easy to fail after a drink or two, especially under the stress you’ll be feeling.

 

So can you refuse to do them?  The answer is yes.  You have the right to refuse to do the tests.  The police cannot require you to do them.

 

If you fail these tests, your failure can be used as evidence in court to secure a conviction.  On the other hand, your refusal to do the tests cannot be used as evidence against you in court.

 

There are two other tests, a preliminary breath test, which is conducted on the side of the road, a breathalyzer, which is conducted at the police station.

 

You have the right to refuse to take the breath tests as well, and your refusal cannot be used against you in court.  If you refuse to take a breathalyzer, however, your license will be suspended.  For the first offense, your license will be suspended for 270 days (9 months).  For a second or subsequent DUI, it will be suspended for two (2) years.

 

By not agreeing to take any of these three tests – field sobriety tests, preliminary breath test and breathalyzer – you’re exercising your right to not give the government evidence they can use against you in a court of law.

 

If you or someone you know has received a DUI, call our office immediately for a consultation with a criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and your freedoms.

 



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