Is It Necessary to Take a Portable Breath Test?
Portable Breath Tests
If the police have a reason to believe that a driver was drinking alcoholic beverages before getting behind the wheel, they could request to have the individual take a portable breath test. There have been times where people were pulled over for this very reason and they refused to take the portable breath test. However, the consequences that come along with refusing to take the test are often severe.
Understanding the Test
If an officer believes someone is drinking and driving, they could pull that person over and ask the driver of the vehicle to step out of the car to take a portable breath test. The device is used to test the breath of the individual to determine if they have consumed any alcoholic beverages. The results provide details on the driver’s blood alcohol content level. Anyone who gets behind the wheel should have a blood alcohol content level of less than 0.08 percent. If it is any higher than that, the police can arrest the driver. The results of the test are often used to help police determine what types of charges to bring upon the driver.
Charges That a Driver Can Receive
If the officer reviews the portable breath test and finds the blood alcohol content of the driver to be over 0.08 percent, the officer can choose to arrest the driver, bringing him or her back to the station. The reason for the rest is that the officer has the right to believe that the driver consumed alcoholic beverages earlier in the day and possibly even just an hour before getting behind the wheel again. Not all states offer a portable breath test. Some drivers need to complete other types of sobriety tests when they are pulled over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Once there is confirmation that a person has been drinking and driving, the police may then charge that individual with a DUI.
Refusing to Take the Test
Although some drivers can face assorted consequences from choosing to refuse to take the portable breath test, other states do allow drivers to refuse to take the test without any additional issues. In some states across the country, the police can have the license of an individual suspended if that person has refused to take the test. It all depends on where the driver gets pulled over. The whole reason these tests are performed in the first place is to prevent accidents and tragedies that are often caused by drunk drivers.
Understanding Probable Cause and the Significance of It
An officer cannot legally pull someone over just because they feel like it. They need to have probable cause. For example, an officer may choose to pull someone over because they are driving erratically or because they ran through a red light. It gives the officer probable cause to stop the driver and then request the driver to take the portable breath test or any other field sobriety test. Probable cause is significant in a DUI case because the case may get thrown out if the officer had no real reason to pull the driver over.
Having Legal Help to Get Through the Situation
When someone is facing DUI charges, they need to hire a lawyer. A skilled attorney could work on having the portable breath test results excluded from the trial while also questioning the intentions of the officer and whether or not that officer had probable cause to pull the client over in the first place. When building a strong defense for the client, it may be possible to get the case dismissed.
Contact an Experienced Cherry Hill DUI Defense Attorney About Your Breath Test Refusal in New Jersey
Have you been charged with breath test refusal in New Jersey? A conviction can carry with it heavy fines, jail time, and driver’s license suspension! That is why it is imperative that you speak with a qualified criminal defense lawyer about your case. The lawyers at Gelman Law represent clients charged with DUI-related offenses in Burlington and Camden Counties, and throughout New Jersey. Call 856-433-1818 or fill out our confidential online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office located at 1940 Rt. 70 East, Suite 4, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.