DUI testing, like everything else, has changed because of COVID-19. Some states got out of quarantine, while others still feel the restrictions. As life began to return to the new normal, car accidents began to happen all over again. Drunk driving is illegal in every state, that is a well-known fact. However, it still happens, no matter what.
The police are still doing their job and if they suspect that a driver is under the influence, they will stop them and ask them to perform a field sobriety test or a breathalyzer test.
But, how safe is it to perform the breathalyzer test during COVID-19? Of course, you can refuse to do it and risk getting your license suspended, and get arrested. If you find yourself in a situation like that, make sure to call an Indianapolis car accident attorney.
What Should You Do In The Event of DUI Testing?
Restrictions have been lifted, and people are now free to go to bars and restaurants and drink alcohol. Establishments are allowed to sell alcohol for pick-up, or even delivery. Even though it seems that drinking at home is a safe thing, it appears that DUI is still going on as it did before the pandemic. DUI testing has also resumed for people who may be drunk while operating their cars.
If you happen to drunk drive, you should keep in mind a few things. If you get pulled over on suspicion of a DUI, remember the 5th Amendment. You have the right not to say anything to the officer. Make sure you don’t say where have you been or if you drank anything, how much you drank, where you’re going, and so on. Stay quiet until your attorney arrives. Simply say that you would like to invoke your 5th Amendment right and decline to answer any questions.
It is very likely that law enforcement will ask you to exit your vehicle. They will ask you to perform field sobriety tests. You should decline to perform it. This test is an inaccurate indicator of intoxication (they’re optional, so don’t worry). Some people would have trouble doing them sober.
Next, the officer who suspects that you’ve been drinking will ask you to do the breathalyzer test. You can refuse this too, but under Indiana law, the officer will confiscate your license and will arrest you. Don’t fear this. A good attorney will be capable to help you even in such conditions. If you have more than the legal limit of alcohol in your blood, you risk a harsher penalty. This is why it’s better to refuse the breathalyzer.
What Happens Afterwards?
When you refuse the breathalyzer test, you’ll get arrested anyway, so why having more evidence against you. Keep in mind that you must do a blood test.
Once taken to the police station, don’t answer anything.
If this is your first-time DUI, you may get a milder punishment, although it will depend mainly if you caused an accident, damages, injured, or killed another person.
The minimum penalties you can faces is three to five years of probation, fines, and fees, a minimum three-month DUI course, and up to six months in prison. You can get a part of a plea deal or a sentence if convicted. Expect that your license will be suspected by the DMV and you’ll get the DUI into your criminal record. Most people don’t get jail time on a first-time DUI, but it certainly can happen.
Risk of COVID-19 and Breathalyzers
Although breathalyzers are properly disinfected, they aren’t recommended to be used during the pandemic. You have the right to refuse to take a breathalyzer test in the time of COVID-19 (or ever).
If you get pulled over by an officer in Indianapolis, stay silent, and avoid answer questions. You can refuse any test, and even if you get arrested, stay calm. The first thing to have in mind is to seek an Indianapolis car accident lawyer.
You might think that you can go without an attorney, but leave the job to professionals. You may get fail at the very first obstacle. Talking can only harm you in such cases; anything you say will be used against you. The best thing is to stay sober behind the wheel. However, if you got arrested for DUI (no matter if this is your first, second, or third offense), call an attorney. Our team at Rowe & Hamilton has experience in this area. We’re here to answer every question you have, speak on your behalf, and prepare your defense.