Featured News 2016 Should I Take a Chemical Test?

Should I Take a Chemical Test?

The average person has little understanding of the laws that govern DUI stops. So, being pulled over on suspicion of DUI often leads to internal questions like, "Should I say that I've been drinking?" and "Should I take a chemical test, or should I refuse?"

What about you, do you know how to handle yourself during a DUI stop? Would you know what to do if the officer asked you to take a chemical test? If you're not 100% sure of what you should and should not do, continue reading as we shed some light on the subject.

What is the PAS test?

Chemical tests come in the forms of a breath test, blood test and a urine test. Usually, urine tests are only used when the officer wants to test for both alcohol and drugs. As far as breath tests are concerned, there are two major kinds: the roadside breath test (preliminary alcohol screening test or PAS test) that is taken before the actual DUI arrest, and the post-arrest breath test that is taken down at the station.

In many jurisdictions, you are not legally required to take the PAS test, but once you are officially arrested, you are expected to submit to the post-arrest breath test under the state's "implied consent" laws.

As a general rule, if you are arrested for DUI or DWI and you refuse to take a breath test at the station afterward, you will lose your license automatically. In California for example, chemical test refusal after a DUI arrest results in an automatic one year driver's license suspension, regardless if the person was actually drinking or not.

If you have not been arrested for DUI and you politely refuse the PAS test, there's usually no penalty for refusing, but once you are arrested, refusing to submit to a breath test will have the consequences we mentioned above. To check out your current state laws, speak with a DUI attorney.

Blood or breath test, which is better?

If you are arrested for DUI and you decide to submit to a chemical test, you will be given the option of a blood or breath test. Which one is better? It depends on how much you drank. If you drank very little, we recommend a blood test because those are more accurate and harder to challenge.

On the other hand, if you had a LOT to drink and you're pretty sure your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over the .08% legal limit, you should opt for the breath test because it's more prone to error, and thus easier to challenge in court.

We hope this information helps. If you find yourself facing DUI or DWI charges, you can scroll through our directory to find a DUI lawyer in your area!

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