When an officer pulls someone over, the first thing that they are going to ask for is license and insurance. That is the beginning of the investigation into whether or not this individual is intoxicated. They are looking for how the person complies with that request. They want to see if you pull out those items immediately and hand them to the officer. They’ll be looking to see whether you overlook them or fumble with them. If you don’t do those things, then that’s evidence that you are not intoxicated. However, if you get confused, you can’t find something, or you hand the officer the wrong thing, then that is evidence that you may be intoxicated.
The officer will continue to ask you questions designed to test your level of intoxication if you exhibit behavior that would make the officer believe you’re intoxicated. If the officer smells alcohol, he or she will probably ask, “Have you had anything to drink?”. Most people say “Yes” if they have been drinking. The vast majority of people say that they had only two drinks.
At this point, the police officer is most likely going to attempt to administer the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs), which are the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk and turn test, and the one-leg stand test. Any other test is not part of the SFSTs. There is no requirement that you perform the tests.
There are certain procedures that should be followed with each test. Hopefully, there is dash cam or body cam video to help me determine whether the officer administered the test correctly. Sometimes, these officers may not have been trained properly or have not gone through any training in years. They may not know the current ways these tests should be administered. For example, before these tests begin, the police officer must ask whether the individual has any medical conditions that might prevent them from performing the tests.
You may be asked to blow into a portable breath test machine. It is not considered a chemical test refusal to refuse to blow into the portable breath test machine. If you blow into the portable breath test machine, then the result can only be used as probable cause to determine whether or not you were intoxicated. It can’t be used in court to show level of intoxication. This test should only be used after performing the SFSTs to confirm the officer’s observations, but it’s increasingly being used instead of the SFSTs.
Once the officer determines that there is enough evidence to believe that you are intoxicated, you’ll be placed under arrest. As an implied consent state, you have consented to a chemical test by driving on Oklahoma roads. You will be asked to do either a blood or a breath test. Most of the time, officers initially ask just for a breath test. If you refuse that test, the officer won’t typically ask for a blood test. However, if it is believed that you are intoxicated by drugs and not alcohol, oftentimes evidenced by a low BAC breath test result, then the officer will ask for a blood test. A refusal of that blood test is considered a refusal. The officer doesn’t have to ask you to do both tests. If you say, “I’m not going to do the breath test but I’ll do the blood test.”, it doesn’t matter. You’ve refused a test. That’s all they need.
Like the field sobriety tests, there are many procedures that need to be followed when doing a breath test. Therefore, there are many points at which mistakes can happen. That’s where I come in and evaluate the evidence to determine if the officer followed the correct procedures.
For more information on Brief Outline Of A DUI Case, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (405) 633-3420 today.