Why You Should Not Take Field Sobriety Tests
People naturally have a fear of the police when stopped or going through a safety checkpoint. They will usually do everything an officer tells them to do so they can get back into their vehicles and drive away.
Unfortunately, having a few drinks somewhere and driving to another location can get you into serious trouble. Even one drink can get you arrested as it is now called buzzed driving.
Never submit to a sobriety test of any kind if you are stopped or drive through a checkpoint. Never take a breath test at the location of the stop. All you are required to do is give the officer your license and insurance registration if he requests it. You don’t have to answer any questions concerning impairment or the ability to drive.
If an officer has suspicion to believe you are impaired, you will be arrested and taken to jail. Once at the jail, they might try to persuade you to take a breathalyzer test. Refuse the test and ask to call an attorney. A blood test is only mandatory if you were involved in an automobile accident.
Whether you drink or not isn’t the problem. The facts are that many people are mistakenly considered impaired because they have to take prescription medication. Sometimes a medical condition can affect driving capability. If you do drink and drive, the possibility exists that you will lose your driving privileges for a few months whether you take the tests or refuse them.
Sometimes the officer might request you say the alphabet backwards. Other testing is for balance and eye movement. All these tests can be difficult to perform. Many people have poor balance to begin with and will fail any balance test quickly. Tests are designed to help the officer get a conviction. Refuse any of these tests so your Los Angeles DUI lawyer has a better chance at helping you in court and possibly saving your license.
What To Do If You Are Stopped
Signs that you are intoxicated can be obvious. Bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and smelling like a distillery can give you away in a hurry. You deserve to go to jail, lose your license and be charged with driving under the influence if you are intoxicated to this kind of level.
The legal limit to be arrested for drunk driving is at .08 percent blood alcohol level. It only takes several drinks to get to that level. The odds are in your favor if you have only consumed a couple of alcoholic drinks before driving.
- Only give the officer your identification and registration.
- Obey his order to step from the vehicle.
- Refuse to submit to sobriety test and breath test.
- Grant permission for him to look inside the vehicle for evidence
- If arrested, ask to call an attorney after being jailed.
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Things to Never Do
- Avoid having empty alcoholic containers in your vehicle. (You can be charged with an open container violation for each one in your vehicle)
- Never carry prescription medication in any container but the one it was purchased in.
- Dont haul opened alcoholic containers such as a pint of whiskey around in the vehicle.
- If you do drink, avoid driving until you are completely sober.
What is an Interlock Device?
An interlock device is a mechanism that can be installed on a vehicle which contains a breathalyzer that measures the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC). If the BAC is higher than a set amount, which varies from one state to the other, the ignition interlock device will prevent the vehicle from being started. Most interlock devices will also require drivers to provide breath samples at random times after the engine has started. This is done in an effort to prevent the user from “cheating” the system by having someone else provide a clean breath sample. If the driver fails to provide a subsequent breath sample, or if the breath sample exceeds the preset limit, the device will sound an alarm until the engine is shut off or until a breath sample that passes is provided.
The interlock device will also have a built-in memory that keeps track of all activity on the device, such as the number of times that a driver failed a breath test. It is also able to monitor activity on the vehicle’s electrical system, which could detect attempts to bypass the interlock. The device will need to be periodically calibrated and inspected at an authorized service center at intervals that can range from 1 to 3 months.
An interlock device is mainly used on vehicles that are owned or operated by drivers who have been charged with driving under the influence. Each state has laws that permit authorities to impose an interlock device on drivers that have been charged with or convicted of certain offences related to driving under the influence. In all cases, the fees associated with the installation and maintenance of the interlock device will have to be paid for by the driver that has been charged with the offence.
Even though all states have laws allowing them to impose an interlock device restriction on drivers, as motor vehicle laws are the responsibility of state legislatures, the specifics of when and for how long an ignition interlock device can be imposed on a driver will therefore vary.
Certain states will impose an interlock condition on anyone that has been convicted of driving under the influence, even on a first offence. Others have different rules. For example, in Massachusetts, a driver who is convicted of a second or subsequent DUI offence and is eligible to have their license reinstated or a hardship license issued will be required to have an interlock device installed on any vehicle that they operate. In North Carolina, a first conviction for driving while impaired with a BAC that exceeds 0.15 will require the driver to use one in their vehicle. As laws and regulations vary from one jurisdiction to the next and can change from time to time, anyone that is being charged with a DUI related offence should consult an attorney to receive up-to-date information on the topic.