In this article, you will learn…
- What law enforcement is looking for when pulling someone over,
- Why you might not have a right to an attorney during a field sobriety test, and
- How not being Mirandized can impact your case.
What Is Law Enforcement Looking For When They Pull Someone Over On Suspicion Of Impairment?
Law enforcement is going to be looking for anything that may be a violation of the law, including…
- Traffic violations,
- Equipment failures,
- Inadequate equipment, or
- Anything that seems suspicious.
There can be signs of impairment in driving, however, which can include…
- Improper lane changes,
- Slow speeds, or
- Fast speeds.
All of these can be considered traffic violations, but if they pull you over and they smell alcohol or your speech is slurred, they would then be suspicious of impaired driving. They are typically looking for any reason to pull you over, which can then lead to more serious charges if other signs are present.
Do I Have The Right To An Attorney Prior To Taking The Field Sobriety Test Or Roadside Breathalyzer Test?
The field sobriety test and the roadside portable breath test, or preliminary breath test, are voluntary in nature. As such, you can refuse to take those tests. Officers will quickly throw in the voluntary terminology, such as asking you really quickly if you would mind stepping out and doing some voluntary field sobriety tests.
You are not necessarily afforded an attorney at that moment because they are considered voluntary tests. Any time a law enforcement officer begins to question or interrogate you, you are entitled to have an attorney present.
Should I Do The Standardized Field Sobriety Tests If Asked By Law Enforcement?
No, you should never do the standardized field sobriety tests. They are voluntary. You can absolutely decline them.
Should I Agree To Take The Evidential Breath Or Blood Test?
You can decline the evidential breath test. Even though it is voluntary, your license could be suspended for up to one year if you decline. This is because to drive a car in Washington state, you implied consent to take the breath test.
After your rights have been read to you in terms of implied consent warnings, you have a right to an attorney. It’s always advisable to request an attorney any time you’re being questioned or if you’re unclear on anything regarding your rights.
When it comes to the blood test, they can get a search warrant for blood that doesn’t require your consent. It can be signed by a judge ordering or requiring that they obtain your blood. This isn’t voluntary, so you would have to agree to the blood test at that point.
Do I Have A Choice Of Chemical Test? Can I Choose A Blood Or A Breath Test?
Sometimes the officer will give you a choice of test, but often the officer will make a decision based on whether they feel you’re refusing the breath test by your conduct. If you’re combative or argumentative, they may sense that you’re not going to submit to a breath test and they can decline that and seek a search warrant for blood, instead.
You can request additional tests or ask the officer to employ a particular test, but it would be at the officer’s discretion. Often, the officers don’t follow through with those requests.
Sometimes they will conduct a breath test and if you ask for a blood test, they will tell you that you’re free to go get one on your own. Essentially, you can go to the hospital to get your own blood test, if you want.
If I Was Not Mirandized During My DUI Arrest, Could I Have My Case Dismissed Potentially?
It is a misconception that not being read your Miranda Rights will result in a dismissal of your case. This is the result of understanding your rights but not understanding how the law or evidence is used against you.
If you were not given your rights or Miranda warnings, this would result in certain incriminating statements made prior to your rights being read not being able to be used against you in court.
Not being read your rights or Miranda warnings would not lead to your case being outright dismissed, but it could influence the outcome of your case.
For more information on the Aftermath Of A DUI Arrest In Washington, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (253) 222-4878 today.