Thursday, August 20, 2015

What to Do When Asked to Take a Breathalyzer Test

The best defense against a DWI arrest is to never drink and drive in the first place. If you feel you’ve had one too many, be responsible and don’t drive yourself home. Instead, designate a driver if you’re with a group. If you’re alone, call a cab or an Uber car, or call and ask a friend to drive you home.

Then again, assuming you are pulled over by law enforcement officers on suspicion of DWI, you may find yourself in a situation where you are asked to blow into a Breathalyzer machine. The question is, should you? The answer, unfortunately, is not as simple as it may seem.

If you are sure that you are well under the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit, then it might be advisable to blow and complete the tests. The officer will be inclined to simply acknowledge that you’re not impaired and advise you to drive more safely. 

On the other hand, if you believe you may not pass the Breathalyzer test at the roadside, then the best move may be to simply refuse to do it. You will likely be arrested and taken to the station, but the time it takes to process your records may give your body enough time to metabolize the alcohol in your system as well. By the time you need to give evidential specimen for testing, your BAC may well have gone down below the .08 minimum legal threshold. However, be aware that refusing a breath test at the station could result in losing your license for a full year.

It is important to keep in mind that you may still be arrested for DWI if your BAC is below a .08.Many jurisdictions give officers discretion in borderline cases where there are extenuating circumstances such as speeding or driving recklessly.

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