Should you give a breath sample when you are stopped for DWI? Part 1 of 3

  Blow or No? You must decide for yourself.  But you don’t have to do it alone.  Call us after hours at 828-393-3000 for a consultation. The Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is the most important evidence against you in a DWI case.  Drinking and driving is not illegal in North Carolina.  Driving while impaired is. “ Impaired” is defined two ways: .08 or higher within a relevant time after driving, or being “appreciably impaired”, which means impaired to the extent that is capable of being noticed or observed, to the extent that it impairs either your mental or physical faculties or both.  It is possible to be convicted for DWI even if your BAC is less than .08, if you are appreciably impaired, and it happens in Buncombe County. Police use two different breath tests – one is optional and one is mandatory.  alcosensor IIIThe optional one is a small handheld unit and the numerical results are not admissible in court to prove a DWI.  (The results ARE admissible to prove under-age consumption of alcohol.)  The mandatory testing unit is a large machine typically kept at the jail or police station called an intoximeter.  It is a flat metal box with a tube that you blow into.  Those results of that test are admissible in court, and that is the test that counts.  You have the right to refuse the mandatory test, but if you do, your driver’s license will be revoked a year, even if you are not convicted, and the fact that you refused will be admissible in your criminal trial.    Always be polite and cooperative, but understand that you have the legal right to refuse all roadside testing without having your license revoked.  Once you get to the intoximeter at the jail, you have to decide if you will refuse to mandatory testing at the cost of losing your license for one year. ecirii-breath-test     The police may also ask for a blood sample to test for drugs. Any amount of Schedule I drugs (Opiates, Heroin, LSD, Psilocybin, MDA, Mescaline, et. cetera) along with the officer’s observations may be sufficient to prove DWI.   They will also ask for a blood test for Alcohol or drugs by the SBI if you are hospitalized during the investigation. They will charge you $600 for lab fees if you are convicted.  You have the right to refuse that blood test, but if you do, your driver’s license will be revoked a year, even if you are not convicted.  Police may skip the State blood test and ask the hospital directly for your medical records.  HIPAA regulations allow law enforcement officers to request your medical records directly from your provider, even if you don't consent.   Contact us.

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