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DUI Police Tests

Uh oh you just got pulled over by an officer in Madison County, Alabama. The officer has most likely asked for your license and registration, which you are by law required to provide, and then he begins to ask about what your recent alcohol consumption is like. What should you do?

The Fifth Amendment protects you from self-incrimination this means you have the right to refrain from answering any questions that a police officer might ask you. This includes the fact you do not have to tell the officer how many drinks you have had. You also do not have to answer the interrogating questions. If you are afraid that you might slur your words because of fear or nervousness, you have the right to remain completely silent or cite your right to refrain from speaking.

If you choose to not say anything, the officer can not testify later in court that you were slurring when he pulled you over. This means your refusal to speak can not be held against you later on.

Never get out of your car unless the officer asks you to do so. If for some reason the officer orders you to get out of the car and asks you to perform some field sobriety tests, you are not legally required to complete any of these tests.

These field sobriety tests are not the same as chemical testing (discussed below). Field sobriety tests check for balance and coordination. These are acts people do not normally perform sober or drunk. These tests can really set you up for failure.

In most states, you are not required by law to complete these tests and refusal to comply cannot be held against you. While these abnormal exercises are called “tests” that are supposed to give them the feel of authority, they are merely subjective tests which are performed to give the police officer more “proof” that you are under the influence. No matter how well you perform these “tests” they can be manipulated and used against you in a court of law. Why incriminate yourself through ridiculous roadside antics?

The breathalyzer is a device used by the police to determine your blood alcohol content. The accuracy of these tests is suspect. They do not always provide correct information about one's level of intoxication. All states have what is called an Implied Consent Law . The government has decided that when you obtain a driver's license, it is a privilege that comes with certain implicit obligations. By obtaining a license, you (unknowingly) have agreed to submit to chemical testing of your blood, breath, or urine, at the request of a police officer. If you refuse to comply with chemical testing, such as the Breathalyzer, you will receive automatic vehicle sanctions. Usually your license will be automatically suspended for failure to comply with chemical testing.

Currently all in Alabama they will automatically revoke a person’s license for refusing to submit to chemical testing. In some cases, however, it may be in your best interest to refuse DUI breath tests and other chemical testing to avoid harsher penalties or inaccurate results. You may wish to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney in Huntsville about the laws and the best way to approach chemical testing.

So you may submit to chemical testing of your blood, breath, or urine. While there are benefits and drawbacks to each method of chemical testing, breath tests tend to be the least reliable method. Blood tests tend to be the most fair and accurate tests, though these are not always offered to a suspect. If a chemical test shows that you have a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or greater, this is enough to prove that you are legally intoxicated and you may be arrested on criminal DUI/DWI charges. There are even certain circumstances where a lower BAC may bring a DUI arrest.

While you must submit to chemical testing, these tests are not always accurate and do not necessarily mean you will be convicted of a DUI. If you are charged with a drunk driving offense, it is vital that you speak with a qualified and experienced attorney as soon as possible. In some cases a DUI attorney can have the record of your chemical testing suppressed so that it is not even presented as evidence in your case. Your DUI attorney may be able to show that your chemical test was not accurate and have the results deemed inadmissible in your case. In any case, it is wise to have a competent and experienced DUI attorney on your side. 

We highly recommend that you call us for a free consultation right away! The Law Offices of Segal & Segal offer aggressive defense representatin for all people accused of a DUI in Madison County, Alabama.