Many people wonder if they have to take a breath, blood, or urine test if stopped for driving under the influence. The practice has been contested, and, as a result, the Supreme Court has ruled on the legality of collecting breath, blood, or urine tests without a warrant. There are three main types of offenses:
- Being in charge of a vehicle when you are over the legal alcohol limit
- Driving a vehicle while intoxicated
- Refusing a breath test when stopped
Being in charge of a car differs from driving a car. For instance, if the police find you stopped, behind the wheel, and in possession of the keys to a car, but they did not witness you actually driving the vehicle, you may still be charged with a DUI.
If you are stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence, the officer will have you perform a series of field sobriety tests. There are three standard tests that the police may ask you to submit to. The horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the one-leg stand test, and a walk-and-turn test are all considered reliable for determining whether someone is driving impaired. Though it may not be a good idea to refuse them, there are generally no legal ramifications for refusing to submit to an FST.
If you refuse the FSTs, the next request will be for you to submit to a breathalyzer. You cannot refuse to submit to a breath alcohol test without facing legal impacts. The reason is something called “implied consent.” In other words, by driving on the roads, you consent to chemical testing if you are stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
In 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a police officer does not need a warrant to obtain breath evidence. If you choose to decline a breathalyzer, you can be arrested. The breath test, according to the Supreme Court, is considered a standard search procedure when there is reason to believe a crime has been committed.
Blood and Urine Testing
In some states, urine testing may be considered to be part of the implied consent, and you could be asked to provide urine to test for drugs or alcohol if you are stopped for suspicion of DUI. The laws vary by state, though. A blood draw does require a warrant unless the driver is passed out behind the wheel and cannot submit to other tests. If you have been charged with a DUI, seek legal advice from an experienced attorney, like a DUI attorney from The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C., today.