The police can arrest drivers for drunk driving if they have substantial evidence. They can collect evidence, for example, if the driver is willing to talk to the police. Or, the police may have the driver perform physical examinations called field sobriety tests, such as standing in place or walking in a straight line.
These options often don’t give the police enough evidence. If the police still suspect the driver is drunk, they may ask the driver to take a chemical sobriety test. Under implied consent laws, which are agreed upon when someone applies for a driver’s license, drivers accept to take chemical sobriety tests or they could face charges after a lawful arrest.
Chemical sobriety tests evaluate a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC), which is the amount of alcohol found in the body upon testing. There are three kinds of chemical sobriety tests: breath, urine and blood. Drivers may need to be aware of each of their options if pulled over by the police. Here’s what you should know:
A breath test, also called a breathalyzer, is a small portable box with a tube. The driver blows into the tube and the machine reads their BAC levels. If the BAC levels read above the legal limit, they could face charges, fines, incarceration and license suspension. This test is often preferred because the police may carry a breath test with them, which can be administered during a traffic stop.
Urine and blood tests
Alternatively, drivers may go to a hospital or police station to take a urine or blood test. These two tests take bodily fluids to test a driver’s BAC levels. Out of the urine, blood and breath tests, the blood tests are typically the most accurate.
It can help to reach out for legal assistance if you believe your rights were violated during a traffic stop or you’re facing arrest for drunk driving. That’s the best way to understand your potential defenses.