I was driving a friend, who is 20, from my house back to his house at 11 PM. I was pulled over by an officer for having a headlight out. Batesville is a small town and the officer knew that my friend (sitting in the passenger seat) wasn't 21 and made him take a breathalyzer test to make sure he wasn't consuming alcohol underaged. The officer was very rude and his request for a breathalyzer test felt very invasive. I understand that you can get your licence suspended for 1 year if you refuse a test while driving but does this apply to other people in my car? Can an officer request for a breathalyzer while I am walking home from a bar and use it against me for public intoxication or do I have the right to to refuse a breathalyzer, without penalty, because I am not operating a motor vehicle?
Based on your question, it would appear that the "breathalyzer" to which you are referring is a portable, hand-held breath testing device. These devices are NOT currently qualified as a "certified chemical test" under Indiana's Implied Consent statute. As such, no one, whether driving or not, can be compelled to submit to such a test and the results from such tests are not typically permitted to be introduced into evidence at a trial. HOWEVER, if a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that you operated a motor vehicle while intoxicated, and if the officer then advises you of the Indiana Implied Consent law, you must submit to a certified chemical test. A certified chemical test is administered either through an Intoxilyzer EC/IR-II instrument, which is a stationary breath testing device found at the police station or jail, or by way of a blood draw. Your friend should hire an experience criminal defense attorney to assist him with his case to ensure that all of his rights are adequately preserved and protected.
None of the comments above are to be construed as legal advice and are given for general informational purposes only. Likewise, nothing herein creates an attorney-client relationship. To create an attorney-client relationship, you may contact this attorney directly.
Yes, if they think they were intoxicated in public or under age and not drinking, however, you do have the right to refuse, so long as you weren't driving, without any additional penalty.
Requirement to take the breath test comes with driving. Failure to do so will result in additional penalties.
I am licensed attorney who focuses on Serious DUI Cases such a 2nd DUIs, 3rd DUIs, 4th DUIs, and Felony DUIs and DMV hearings. I also have much experience handling car accident cases. Although the information I provide is helpful, it is not legal advice. Although Avvo makes it clear to consumers that attorney answers to questions are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship, some attorneys prefer to add their own disclaimers to answers. You can set your custom disclaimer here and it will be automatically added to your answers. Do NOT include any direct solicitations or contact information.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline