Everyone knows a little something about a DUI arrest. You know you don’t want to get pulled over drinking and driving, because you will be arrested. You also know you shouldn’t drink and driver in the first place, but many people make the mistake of assuming their tolerance for alcohol is more important than their blood alcohol level, and it gets them in trouble. If you find yourself driving after a few drinks with flashing lights behind you, you want to know the answers to a few questions before you find out the hard way. One of the most common questions you’ll want to ask is what a breathalyzer is.
What is a Breathalyzer?
It’s not fancy. A breathalyzer is a device used to determine your blood alcohol level. You blow into a small machine placed at your mouth by a police officer when you’ve been pulled over, and the machine analyzes your breath sample. Technically, this little device doesn’t measure your blood alcohol level. It measures your blood alcohol content. This is entirely different in that it only measures the amount of alcohol on your breath. This gives police officers an idea of how much you may have consumed before getting behind the wheel of your car, and they then determine whether to test your blood for your blood alcohol level. This is what determines who much alcohol is in your system and whether you’ve exceeded the legal limit.
When is a Breathalyzer Used?
It’s most commonly used at checkpoints on evenings drunk driving is more prevalent. For example, officers tend to set up checkpoints on New Year’s Eve, the Fourth of July, and other holidays in which people tend to drink all day and then go home at night. It’s when they choose to find those who aren’t obeying the law and make them pay for their crimes.
This isn’t the only time a breathalyzer is used. It can be used by an officer at any point in time if he or she suspects a driver is under the influence of alcohol. One of the most dangerous things you can do is assume you know the law regarding a breathalyzer, as you can make a grave mistake in assuming you know your rights.
Refuse it or Take it?
One of the biggest mistakes people make when pulled over for driving under the influence is refusing a breathalyzer. The law is different in every state, but many states implement an immediate six-month license suspension for anyone who refuses to take a breathalyzer. Others end up in more trouble when they refuse it, and may people find they are arrested regardless and their refusal is used against them to indicate guilt during their court hearing.
In many states, an officer can call for a warrant forcing you to submit to a breathalyzer on the scene if you refuse. This means you’re going to be in more trouble. It’s a double-edged sword if you have been drinking, but it’s almost always a better idea to take the breathalyzer test and go from there.
How to Handle a DUI?
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, the first thing you want to do is call our law offices. We have attorneys on staff who work on DUI cases for a living. We have the knowledge and experience to help you figure out what to do next, how to handle your situation, and how to get your case heard or even thrown out. If you have been drinking and driving and it’s been proven your blood alcohol level is higher than the legal limit, you’re going to end up in trouble. We can help you avoid the harshest penalties for your actions.
Do not speak to the officers who pull you over, do not do anything until you call an attorney. Anything you say to the officer who pulls you over is recorded and used against you. Don’t mistake your rights if you haven’t been issued a Miranda. Your arresting officer is only required to read the Miranda to you when you’ve been arrested. They can still use your word against you prior to the reading of the Miranda. Call an attorney and get the best help.
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