Breath Testing Information - What Every Citizen MUST Know
OVERVIEW. For over 22 years, drunk driving laws have been getting tougher and tougher. In virtually every state, the legislative branch ANNUALLY passes new laws, or increases punishment for existing laws. Why? It is due to the relentless pursuit of "prohibition" by MADD in our state legislatures each year. Once the legislative branch "acts" in response to the MADD pressure (now fully supported by the Federal Government through NHTSA) the trial courts and appellate courts fall in line and mete out severe punishment, as directed by the legislature. Our jails are full to capacity, with many jail cells housing three to four times the number of prisoners they were designed to accommodate. In 1995, Georgia changed its DUI laws THREE times in less than 9 months! The trend is for the laws to get more Draconian each year, and (in doing so) we lose more rights as citizens.
MUST I GIVE A TEST? When a driver is suspected of DUI / DWI / OUI / OWI (or however your state has opted to abbreviate it), an officer is given the statutory "option" of asking that you submit to a chemical test of your breath (most common type test), or blood, or urine, OR ALL THREE (in some states, like Georgia). The majority of states permit a person to REFUSE to submit to testing. In most cases, the police officer will have asked you to first perform field sobriety tests, but these field evaluations ARE NOT mandatory. In others, (e.g., South Carolina), the officer suspecting alcohol as the impairing substance can only ask for breath, barring a vehicular homicide or other extenuation circumstances. In others, (e.g., California), the officer must ask for breath, but verbally advise you that the California breath test does not provide a sample for later independent testing (by you or your legal counsel), so you can OPT for a blood test, if you so desire. Others offer you the chance to be tested "the easy way", by blowing into a breath machine, and if you try to resist, you can be PHYSICALLY wrestled to the ground, beaten, choked or even strapped to a table or gurney so that blood can be drawn from your body or urine can be extracted through a catheter inserted in your penis or urethra.