Part IV: The Breathalyzer
Welcome back. This part is easy: Refuse the Breath Test! After being handcuffed and taken to the jailhouse, you will be read some information about the Breath Test and the cop will tell you that if you refuse to take it, that you will lose your driver’s license. This is true, but if you listen closely, they will also say that you have a right to an Administrative Hearing. Now, what is an administrative hearing? They’re not going to explain it. Bottom line: it is a chance to get your license back. In many cases, we are able to use this hearing to get your license back, free-and-clear. This hearing may not take place for several months, but in the meantime, we can get you a temporary license that is valid until that hearing takes place. Do not let the threat of having your license suspended convince you that taking the breathalyzer test is a good idea.
The Datamaster DMT, commonly known as the breathalyzer, is designed to take a sample of your breath and give the police an objective reading of how intoxicated you are. The police will never admit this, but these machines can be very unreliable, and a bad reading is all it takes to land you in jail. Cell phone interference, slight differences in body temperature, and exposure to industrial chemicals, among many other things, can cause a false positive result on these machines. Plus, a higher reading on the breath test will lead to a higher penalty – more jail time and higher fines.
It is often difficult to tell whether you are over the limit or not. You might think you’re fine and should blow, but remember that you wouldn’t be there unless the officer thought you were intoxicated, and that the legal limit is quite low. You could fail the breath test even if you’re not feeling strong effects. The only time we’d say it’s ok to take the breath test is if you know you have only had one drink – or maybe two over a couple hour period. Otherwise, Do Not give them any more evidence of your intoxication. Refuse the test, shut your mouth, and call us in the morning. We’ll take it from there.
We hope this series was informative and helpful. If you have any questions about DUIs or Criminal Law, or just want to stop by and talk about guitars, shotguns or really good cold beers, we’re on Pettigru Street, just up from the old Bi-Lo Center. Come by and say hello.
Cheers! (and be safe out there)