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.
Attorney at Law
Law Office of Aaron M. Black, PLLC
3219 East Camelback Road #573
Phoenix, AZ 85018
Office #: 480-729-1683
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 <a href="www.dmcantor.com">Phoenix DUI and Criminal Lawyer David M Cantor</a> or call 602-307-0808.
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