It can be very confusing to comply with the jumble of tests that officers administer if you are arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI). However, the testing often begins before you are even arrested, and most states do not give you the option of non-compliance. Instead of digging yourself into a hole by refusing to allow the test to be administered, which brings additional charges and/or penalties, remember these basic questions and answers:
1. What kinds of tests are there? Most states have three tests that determine a person's blood alcohol concentration, or BAC. They include Breathalyzer testing, blood draw, and urinalysis. Law enforcement may use one, two, or all three in any particular case, depending on the situation and applicable state law.
2. If I pass or fail one type of test, will officers still do the others? It depends on the individual circumstances and applicable laws in the state where you are driving. Being under the legal BAC limit of .08% in the United States will not guarantee that you will get to go home, just like being over the legal limit does not mean that you are assured jail time.
3. Can't I just say that I'm under the influence and do not want to be tested? Absolutely not. Most states operate under Implied Consent laws, and you do not have the right to refuse to submit to BAC testing, even if you know that you will fail. It is better to allow your professional DUI lawyer to attempt to discredit the failure than to face the additional charges/increased penalties for refusing to submit.
4. Can my DUI lawyer question the results/interpretations of the BAC tests? Yes. Every case is different, but there are several methods of questioning this type of evidence, from proving that the laboratory made a mistake to questioning an officer's ability to administer or interpret results.
5. Do I have to prove that I was not DUI? The burden of proof does not rest with the defendant in a DUI case. It rests with the prosecution, who must prove beyond a doubt that the person was DUI. If they cannot satisfy this burden of proof, the defendant cannot be proven guilty according to constitutional law.