Are Sobriety Test Mandatory?

Drunk Driving Lawyer

If you are pulled over, are you required to take a sobriety test? This is something you should know before you are pulled over. It can be a terrifying thing to have those lights appear in your rear view mirror and for the police officer to ask you to get out of your car. It is vital to know what your rights are in advance, so you can act rationally and calmly in the moment. If you have already been charged with a DUI, the first thing you should do is hire a DUI attorney.

Are Sobriety Tests Mandatory?

So, the big question is whether or not you are required to take a sobriety test. This includes the breathalyzer, as well as any other test. This includes blood tests, urine tests, and challenges that test your physical or mental abilities. You may be surprised to learn that you are almost never required to take a sobriety test. There are only three situations where an individual is required to take a sobriety test:

  • The individual is under the legal drinking age
  • The individual is on probation for a DUI
  • The individual has already been arrested.

Let’s go through these one by one. The first is quite simple. If you are younger than the legal drinking age, you must always take a sobriety test if an officer requests you to.

Second, those who have been found guilty of a DUI in the past and are now on probation for this charge must also take a requested sobriety test. This is also a simple concept.

Finally, after you have been arrested, you can be required to take a sobriety test. Remember, you cannot be arrested without probable cause, and a failed sobriety test counts as probable cause. If you do not take the test, it may not be possible for an officer to arrest you.

Should You Take a Sobriety Test?

As you probably suspect, it is never in your best interest to take a sobriety test unless you find yourself in one of the above situations. You may be thinking that a sobriety test can prove your innocence, but this is never the case. It is impossible for a passed test to prove innocence, but a failed test can prove guilt. The test results are also subject to the officer’s interpretation. These facts make it dangerous to take any sobriety test. If you are legally required to take it, however, you should not resist. A DUI attorney in DC can tell you more.

Thanks to The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. for their insight into criminal defense and mandatory sobriety tests.

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