If you’ve just been pulled over for a DWI, the police officer will try to administer field sobriety and breathalyzer tests. It is a common misconception that refusing the breathalyzer test will mean that you are admitting guilt. However, that is not the case.
If the officer who pulled you over asks if you’ve been drinking, you do not have to answer. In fact, you only have to tell them the information on your license. You legally do not have to tell them anything else.
Additionally, the officer might ask you to get out of your vehicle so that he can perform field sobriety tests. These include the walk and turn test, standing on one leg, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. After getting out of the car, you can refuse to do these tests!
The officer might also ask for a breath or blood sample. You can—and should—politely refuse these. If you refuse, the officer will need to get a warrant signed by a judge to take a blood sample. Handheld breathalyzers are known to be frequently inaccurate, and many factors can contribute to the results, like cold medicine, asthma inhalers, and mouthwashes. In fact, the evidence gathered by a portable breathalyzer cannot even be used in court.
But what about “no refusal” weekends? These occur typically around holidays and only apply to the breath/blood tests. They do not include the field sobriety tests, which you can always refuse. “No refusal” means that if you refuse the breath test, the police will get a warrant for a blood draw.
Refusing to blow may result in your driver’s license being suspended. In that case, it is important to hire an attorney quickly. An experienced attorney can request an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing within 15 days of your arrest to possibly allow you to keep your license.
If you’ve been arrested for a DWI in Williamson County, it is important for you to know your rights. Call the Law Office of Price & Wiggins, P.C. so that we can review your case.