One of the most frequently asked questions in DUI/DUAC law is whether or not to give a breath sample. All to often people think that if they just blow into the breath machine, have a BAC of less than .08, the Officer will just let them go home. However, the vast majority of the time, this is usually the exception rather than the rule. More often than not, those people who think they are ok to drive or under .08 are usually astounded by the results printed out by the datamaster. The simple fact of the matter is you should not blow unless you haven’t been drinking at all. Depending on your metabolism and body type, even one drink could be one to many to put you over the limit. The truth is that your probably going to spend the night in jail regardless of your Breath Alcohol Concentration.

But, a DUI case goes far beyond the night you are arrested and asked to give a breath sample. A DUI case is a marathon rather than a sprint. You have to look beyond that night and at the overall big picture that once you’re released for jail the next morning, you’re still going to have to go to court. You’re going to spend the night in jail… but a high BAC could send you back when your case goes to trial.

So then if the answer is to never blow unless you haven’t been drinking, clearly the answer must be that you should  refuse to give a sample. It’s not as simple as simply refusing the test… It’s all in how you do it.

When you are taken into the datamaster room for a breath sample, everything you do and say is being video recorded. This means that everything you do and say will be seen by a jury at trial. So when you’re in the datamaster room you should play to the camera and in essence to the jury. A jury is made up of people just like you and odds are they don’t know anymore about a DUI then you. So, you can’t just simply say “I refuse”. That makes it look like you have something to hide. A jury will be wondering why you refused the test if you weren’t under the influence. Instead, you should ask the Officer questions such as: How does the machine work?, How does it actually measure my BAC?, when is the last time the machine was calibrated?, when is the last time the machine was inspected?, How often is this machine serviced?, ect. Then you should finally end with “I’m a little worried about giving you a sample because I’m not really sure how it works… but I’ll give you a sample if you can promise me that this machine is always 100% accurate”. Of course, the Officer can’t do that because nothing is 100% accurate. A jury will relate to your questions and wondering the same things themselves. By asking questions such as these, the jury will put themselves in your shoes and ask themselves if they would give a sample in the same situation.

In the end, you should refuse to give a sample… but make it look like you’re not refusing. The DUI attorneys at Reeves Aiken & Hightower LLP stand ready to help you if you have been arrested and charged for DUI, BUI or DUAC. Before hiring an attorney, you should carefully check out their credentials and actual experience. For more information about our lawyers, please visit our website at www.rjrlaw.com. Or to schedule a confidential consultation about your particular case, please call us directly at 877-374-5999.