Should you refuse a breathalyzer during the holidays?
One of our most frequently asked questions is, what should I do if I am pulled over during the holidays? Everyone knows lawyers can’t give a straight answer so here is what you’re expecting: it depends!
Our recommendation — refuse the field sobriety tests and take a breath test. Wonder why? Keep reading.
During the holidays in Harris County, every night is no refusal. In the past, no refusal weekends were the common occurrence if someone was arrested for driving while intoxicated.
What is no refusal?
If you are arrested for DWI you are asked to give a sample of your breath or blood. If you refuse a breath test or blood draw, the police officer will likely obtain a search warrant to take your blood. The police officer communicates their rendition of the facts to a district attorney who then drafts a search warrant. The warrant is presented to the judge on duty, and once the warrant is rubber stamped, a needle is coming and the police may forcibly draw blood. If the police have a search warrant, don’t fight them. Let us fight the search warrant in court.
How does all of this happen?
It all starts with a traffic stop 🚓🚨
Officers have someone pulled over and they start asking questions, such as:
Where are you coming from?
Where are you going?
Had anything to drink tonight?
Our recommendation – don’t answer these questions.
Next, they ask you to perform field sobriety tests.
The standard tests include:
HGN (Horizontal gaze nystagmus) test, which involves looking at a pen or an officer’s finger tip as they move it left-to-right in front of your face
Walk and turn test, which requires standing on a imaginary or real line and taking nine steps down and back
Standing one one leg for 30 seconds without stumbling, swaying, hopping, or using arms for balance
These tests are difficult and you don’t get credit for doing anything correct. They only look at what you do wrong.
Our recommendation – don’t do anything!
Pros: minimally invasive, can only detect alcohol, not accurate for all people, diet and digestive issues can impact results, machine is junk!
Cons: knowing you agreed to blow something in a police station
Pros: may or may not be accurate
Cons: A needle is forcibly inserted into your body in a disgusting jail, and the test can detect alcohol and drugs
What does all of this mean? What is the answer?
The moral of the story is, when you’re getting pulled over and you smell like alcohol, get ready for a long night. You have the right to remain silent—so do it! Don’t disclose anything about your evening to the police. Don’t do the field sobriety tests, put out your wrists and pray for a blanket. If you forget everything I said, cry and call Blass Law.
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