When stopped for suspicion of DUI and you pass there field tests what are your rights from that point?

Asked about 3 years ago - Mesa, AZ

If you have passed there tests, and there is no scent of drugs or alcohol, shouldn't you be free to go? Why is it now you are generally told they need to take blood? And can you refuse to give blood? Or by refusing to give blood is that viewed as your hiding something and allows them to call it probable cause to forcefully take it if necessary?

And for those people that have been prescribed narcotic pain killers by there doctor which stay in your system for I do beleive up to 30 days depending on the person and what not. If opiates show up because you took you medicine last night so you could sleep. Will that also get you a DUI or is there a course of action that needs to be taken to show what you take and that it will show up in a blood test.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Aaron Michael Black

    Pro

    Contributor Level 15

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . This is a very good question. Your rights after being stopped are 1) remain silent, 2) ask for a lawyer, 3) to respectfully refuse all field sobriety tests, 4) to refuse the PBT, 5) to refuse answering any questions besides identification information, and 6) always requesting an independent blood test.

    You can refuse the blood test. However, if you do your license will be suspended for 1 year, the police will get a warrant, and they will get your blood.

    Blood is the new standard for many jurisdictions for alcohol testing. The there option for alcohol is breath testing. Drugs cannot be tested by breath. So, the police will either use urine or blood. Urine will only show if a drug is in your system. However, it will not show if it is active in your system. That is why blood is taken because of the drug is in your blood a scientist can argue the drug is active and you were impaired.

    Now, based on the remainder of your question and the fact there was no odor of alcohol the police were probably trying to find probable cause for impaired driving based on drugs. DUI drugs s typically charged twice. The first charge would be for having a prohibited drug in your system. If you have a valid prescription that is an absolute defense for the charge. The second charge is being impaired by that drug. It does not matter if you have a prescription. The officer will testify about how you performed on the field sobriety tests and your driving behavior. The prosecutor will call a scientist to testify about how the drugs interact with your system and if they can cause impairment.

    It is important to mount a strong defense that 1) you have a prescription and 2) you were not impaired. To attack impairment we must show that the tests were administered incorrectly, some kind of injury, expert to testify otherwise. Often times police officers tell the suspects they passed the test. I don't know why they do this. Also for DUI drugs the police need to conduct a 12 step DRE (Drug Recognition). An individual should always refuse this test also.

    There are many defenses to all of this. Do not try to fight a case alone. Always have a DUI attorney look over your case.

    Good Luck,

    Aaron Black
    Attorney at Law
    Law Office of Aaron M. Black, PLLC
    3219 East Camelback Road #573
    Phoenix, AZ 85018
    Office #: 480-729-1683
    Email: aaron@aaronblacklaw.com
    www.aaronblacklaw.com

  2. David Michael Cantor

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . First, field sobriety tests are not really pass/fail, they help officers make arrest/no arrest decisions, and you do not have to take these tests. In fact, you really should not take these tests as many people out there cannot complete these tests without any alcohol in their system. If an officer is asking you to do these tests he/she is just trying to gather more evidence of your impairment. By telling the officer that you are politely declining to complete the tests you cut of his ability to gather that evidence that will likely be used against you later.

    If after doing this the officer arrests you on suspicion of DUI and requests your blood you should ask to speak to a lawyer immediately. If you flat out refuse to comply with the blood test your license will be suspended for a year. However, there are certain circumstances when a lawyer may believe that refusing is your better option. You will not know which one is to your benefit unless you ask to speak to a lawyer before making your decision. Additionally, asking to speak to a lawyer may result in other issues in the case that could be litigated pre-trial.

    With respect to the pain killers, even if you have a prescription for the drugs that show up in your system, if the state can prove that those drugs impaired your ability to drive to the slightest degree you can still get convicted of a DUI. (Hence the reason to not participate in the FST's.)

    Hope this helps. If you have been charged with a DUI and are looking for an attorney, please give me a call and we can discuss these issues in person.

    Nothing in this web post constitutes legal advice. If you have a legal question please see my main site at more

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