Police officers may pull drivers over for a number of traffic violations, even those that are very minor. The officer may ask the driver to exit the vehicle to see if he or she is safe to drive. The driver may be asked to perform field sobriety tests. You are not obligated to perform them. You can refuse. The driver, at some point, may be asked to submit to a breath or blood alcohol test, and you are often unsure whether to comply. If you are asked to submit to a chemical test, submit to it. If you refuse the chemical test, you will likely lose your license.
It’s important to stay calm and remain polite in all dealings with arresting officers. Still, you have certain rights protected by the Constitution. This includes contacting an attorney after an arrest has taken place.
Blood/Breath Tests Administered During DUI Arrests
In Utah, there are penalties for a blood/breath test refusal during a DUI stop. Because of this, attorneys at Newton & Heifer, Attorneys at Law, PLLC, advise anyone pulled over in the future to comply with the blood/breath tests.
Unlike refusal to take field sobriety tests, refusal to take a blood or breathe test will likely lead to a license suspension. A first-time refusal to take a blood or breath test requested by a law enforcement officer can result in you losing your license for 18 months. Subsequent refusals could lead to longer license suspensions or even permanent revocation. You may also be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle.
On the other hand, if you submit to a breath or blood test you will have more legal options available. There is always the chance that you will pass such a test and have all charges dropped. Even in circumstances where your blood-alcohol level is recorded at .08 or higher, these tests can be challenged in a court of law. Sometimes, blood or alcohol tests are not conducted properly. Results could be inconsistent. There may be difficulties with the device measuring your blood alcohol that led to incorrect readings. Or the evidence may have been handled improperly by law enforcement agencies.
Protections from Unreasonable Stops or Arrests
Police officers cannot randomly pull you over and then ask for you to comply with breath or blood-alcohol tests. Even with regard to DUI, an improper arrest can result in charges being dismissed.