When a DUI lawyer examines a client's case, one of the first issues they look at is why and how the person was tested for intoxication. The police have to establish reasonable suspicion when they detain a driver, and in some cases, they have to work up to probable cause before they can administer a test. If you've ever seen a police officer asking questions about whether you've been drinking or remarking about how your eyes look, this is what they were trying to accomplish.
The police don't have unlimited freedom to push for an alcohol or drug test. You may wonder, though, how aggressive can a cop be.
Ability to Consent
One of the biggest factors in determining whether the police can immediately test someone is the subject's ability to consent. Strangely enough, the police may perform a blood draw from an unconscious person, but they can't do the same without consent from a conscious one.
If the person is conscious, the police may have to obtain a warrant before they can draw blood for testing. This may involve a whole series of events, such as impounding the driver's car and contacting a judge for the warrant.
Field Sobriety Tests
The standard field sobriety test is dramatically less invasive than a blood draw. And you have every right to refuse the field sobriety test and any subsequent breathalyzer test. However, you should be aware that this is considered grounds to detain you long enough to obtain a warrant and get a blood sample.
Most state's implied consent laws carry penalties for refusing field testing for intoxication. States typically suspend drivers' licenses immediately, and some states allow officers to seize licenses at the scenes of incidents. This immediate suspension of your license is considered an administrative decision. A no-refusal policy in a state may also count as an admission of guilt to the DUI offense, so contact a lawyer before refusing a field sobriety test.
How to Respond to Overly Aggressive Demands for Testing
Your best move is to cooperate with the police as fully as possible. Take note of how they established reasonable suspicion and probable cause.
Also, you will receive paperwork in the mail from the court about the charges. Get in touch with a DUI attorney and show them copies of the paperwork ASAP. Make sure you respond in a timely manner so you can request a hearing.