Seattle DUI Breathalyzer And Field Sobriety Tests

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Understanding the aspects of Seattle DUI can be complicated, especially if you've been charged with DUI for the first time. It's important to understand the aspects of driving under the influence before you see the blue lights in your rear view mirror so you know your rights and you know exactly what to do in this situation to protect your future. This article looks at two of the most frequently asked questions about DUI Seattle breathalyzer and field sobriety tests.

Should I Submit To Field Sobriety Tests?

Just about any Seattle DUI lawyer out there will tell you never to submit to field sobriety tests. Why? Field sobriety tests are unreliable and cannot prove or disprove intoxication, and submitting to a field sobriety test gives an officer evidence to use against you. You are within your rights to calmly and politely refuse a field sobriety test.

Keep in mind that many factors play a role in passing or failing a field sobriety test. First of all, the officer uses his or her own judgment when determining whether you pass or fail, making the results unreliable to begin with. Secondly, even 100% sober people can have a problem passing a field sobriety test depending on their physical abilities. Even things like the clothes you're wearing, the shoes you're wearing, the weather conditions, the time of day, available light, the surface you're on, the other cars whizzing by, and more can all negatively affect your ability to pass a field sobriety test, even when you're a 100% healthy, capable, sober person.

Remember that the law does not force you into submitting to a field sobriety test. These tests are voluntary. The officer may still arrest you after politely refusing a field sobriety test, but you'll be better off in the long run. If you are arrested, keep quiet and contact a Seattle DUI attorney immediately.

Should I Submit To A Breathalyzer Test?

Just as with a field sobriety test, by submitting to a breathalyzer test you really only accomplish giving the officer evidence to use against you. Besides, while a breathalyzer test can provide an indication of the level of alcohol in your system, it can't prove impairment. Every person's system handles alcohol differently. Some people are severely impaired when blowing a breathalyzer result higher than .08 and other people aren't impaired at all at .08.

Breathalyzer tests only work to provide a level of alcohol in your system. This test will not work for measuring levels for drug related DUIs. The results can also provide an inaccurate picture of your particular situation depending on the time you take the test, so politely refusing is usually best. Other factors can affect the result of a breathalyzer test as well since it's a sensitive piece of equipment, including the maintenance performed to keep it in top working order, correct calibration, and even the qualifications and experience of the officer administering the test.

If you're ever pulled over for DUI Seattle, keep the above in mind. While many people go ahead and submit to these tests, it's usually best to politely refuse them, especially field sobriety tests.
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