Criminal Attorney in Fairfax, VA
Do you know what your rights are if you are pulled over? For example, if a police officer asks you to take a sobriety test, do you know if you are required to take it? It is important for you to know what you are and are not legally required to do. It may end up saving you from getting a DUI someday.
Taking a Sobriety Test
For the most part, you are not required to take any kind of sobriety test. This includes the breathalyzer, urine test, and all other kinds of tests to determine if you are drunk or anything else. You are fully within your rights to politely decline to take the test. The only instances where you are legally required to take a sobriety test are:
- When under the legal drinking age of 21
- When you have already been arrested
- If you are on probation for a DUI
If any of these situations apply to you, do not refuse to take the test. Doing so may make your sentence worse or result in a fine. Otherwise, it is in your best interest to decline a sobriety test. Many people do not realize that these tests are subjective. The officer gets to decide whether or not the test determines if you are drunk enough to have your driving impaired. Even if you are not drunk, the officer can wrongly decide that you are given the results of the test and that still counts as probable cause and you can be legally arrested. Remember that the police officer only pulled you over because he or she already suspects a law has been broken. The officer is looking for proof that he or she is correct.
There are several things you can do to make your interaction with the police officer as smooth as possible. You should always be polite, even when refusing a test. Additionally, it is never a good idea to argue with an officer. It is illegal to lie to a police officer, although you are under no obligation to answer even a single question you are asked. Similar to why it is in your best interest not to take the tests, it is also in your best interest not to answer any questions. Police officers are trained to ask tricky questions that will catch lawbreakers off guard, and you might get caught regardless of whether you have broken any laws. You should always speak with a reckless driving lawyer Fairfax, VA trusts as soon as possible if you are arrested.
Contact Dave Albo – Attorney for their insight into criminal defense and sobriety tests.