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Providing criminal defense services to
clients throughout the East Bay and
its surrounding areas.

Breath test and field sobriety test myths exposed

There’s no argument that you face serious penalties if you get caught driving while intoxicated. The laws against drinking and driving are strict in California. If you are given a DUI charge, you’re entitled to fair representation and being treated as innocent until proven guilty. But a few common misconceptions about sobriety tests may actually get someone into worse trouble.

There are a few popular myths about breath tests and field sobriety tests that many drivers think can get them out of trouble when they’re pulled over for a suspected DUI. Police officers are aware of these supposed tricks, and to attempt them may tell an officer that you’re trying to hide something. For example, breath that’s fresh with mints or mouthwash is likely to make an officer suspect you’re trying to hide the smell of alcohol, and it won’t fool a breathalyzer test.

Police officers can arrest a person for suspected drunk driving even if the person refuses to take any test, based on behavior and the officer’s own judgment. The important thing to realize is that trying any tactics to get out of taking a test, or trying to fool the test itself, will rarely get you out of an arrest if the officer has reason to believe you’ve been driving drunk. In fact, an officer will usually take a sobriety test refusal as compelling evidence that you’re trying to hide driving drunk.

If you’re facing a DUI arrest, it isn’t recommended to try any of the tricks to fool a test that you might have heard from friends. A defense attorney can later advise you on the charges you face and what to expect.

Source: ABC Action News, “I-Team: Five myths about drunk driving tests debunked,” Michael George, April 23, 2013

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