If you’re arrested, the officer has had to have a reason to stop you, which usually is the result of some traffic violation. Either the person is weaving or goes through a red light to cause the officer to stop the driver.
The officer stops you and then he usually will go over to your car and conduct an investigation. If he detects an odor of alcohol or some manifestation of intoxication, he then will have reason to give you what’s called the standard field sobriety test.
He asks you to perform certain actions. He will test you, “Can you walk in a straight line? Can you recite theses certain numbers backwards?” and a variety of different field test to determine whether you’re intoxicated.
The Police Look for Indications of Intoxication
One big indicator is the odor of alcohol, as well as your appearance and your ability to find your driver’s license and so forth. If you fail the field test according to his grading, he will take you into headquarters for what is called an Alcotest.
You Will Undergo an Alcotest If Taken to the Police Station
That’s an instrument which measures the amount of alcohol in your system. If the officer suspects drugs, you will be asked to give a urine sample. In some cases, you will be taken to a hospital for a blood test.
Can You Refuse the Breath Test? What If You Have a Disability?
You can be given up to 11 eleven tries on the Alcotest. It’s usually after the first or second attempt that it registers a positive reading. There are certain people that either have a disability or a handicap or can’t give an appropriate breath sample. The officers will usually give them at least three tries. Then if you still can’t do it, the officer will charge you with refusal. If you have a disability defense, counsel will find the appropriate expert in the area of your disability to prove that you did not refuse.
A refusal has very severe penalties that are as severe as being found guilty of a DWI.
There are different gradations if your blood alcohol concentration after the scientific test is 0.08 or less than 0.10, you can lose your license for three months. If over .10, the minimum loss of license is seven months. There are fines and penalties. Defense counsel will explain all of the fines and penalties accompanying a DWI or refusal conviction.
The Penalties for a DWI Conviction Can Include Fines, Penalties, Alcohol Education Classes and a Term of Incarceration for up to 30 Days
Normally, the individual will go for 12 to 48 hours to an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, which is to educate the person as to the dangers of driving while intoxicated. In the court’s discretion, there can be a term of imprisonment of not more than 30 days for a first offense. On the day of conviction, you have to forfeit your license. The Court may give you a pass to drive home.
The Fines Vary Depending on the Blood Alcohol Level of the Driver and the License Suspension Ranges from Seven Months to a Year For a First Offense
If the blood alcohol concentration is 0.10 or higher, then there’s a fine of not less $300 or more than $500. You forfeit your right to operate a motor vehicle for not less than seven months or more than one year.
This is where it’s important to have an attorney because seven months without driving is a terrific hardship for most people. If there are circumstances for example, arguing with a police officer if there’s been an accident or some aggravating circumstance, the court can impose a one year loss of license.