DWI / DUI - Part 3
The roadside tests, known as SFSTs (Standard Field Sobriety Tests) are a major evidence gathering tool for officers investigating you for a DWI.
Refusing to submit to dexterity tests is not a criminal offense.
It’s not illegal to refuse to answer questions or participate in a DWI investigation.
"Refusing to do the eye test and balance tests will not result in the suspension of your driver’s license. You have legal rights."
- David Courie, Fayetteville DWI Defense Attorney
You also are not required to submit to the handheld breath test. DWI defense attorneys may refer to that as the Portable Breath Test or “PBT.”
Refusing to submit to the PBT on the side of the road also will not revoke your license under the NC DWI laws.Politely Decline to Answer Questions or Do Dexterity Tests
It can be hard to say no to an officer that’s wanting you to do something, especially when you think being polite and cooperative may get you out of trouble.
The reality is that more times than not, utilizing your right to politely refuse an officer’s requests during a DWI arrest is the best thing to do.
Refusing the tests may not help you avoid charges, but it will certainly impact the prosecutor’s ability to prove a case against you.Can I Refuse to Blow?
You also have a right to refuse the officer’s request for a breath or blood sample, and much like the roadside sobriety tests, the breath sample is a major piece of evidence that can be used against you.
Without that evidence, the prosecutor is far less likely to be able to prove impairment and you may be able to avoid a conviction.
However, refusing to submit a breath or blood sample does have consequences on your license.
"It’s important to understand there is a difference between the roadside PBT and breath tests authorized for evidence. If you have questions about a refusal, talk to a DWI lawyer immediately."
- David Courie, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Willfully refusing to submit a sample on the Intoximeter EC/IR II or blood test will ordinarily result in the automatic suspension of your driver’s license for one year.
There may be legal defenses to a willful refusal, particularly if Probable Cause did not exist.
This suspension is will kick in when the NC DMV sends you notice, and it will remain in effect regardless of what happens to your underlying DWI case.
Our experienced DWI lawyers understand the details, consequences, and possible benefits of a decision to refuse.
They will explain exactly what it means for you and how the decisions you made may impact your case going forward.
No matter the circumstances, refusal or cooperation, our attorneys have seen all kinds of DWIs and will know how to navigate your fact pattern in a manner geared towards getting the best results possible.Extensive Experience to Help You Keep Your Driver's License
Beaver Courie offers you a DWI defense team with more than 40 years of combined experience in DWI defense.
Simply put, our reputation for excellence and our hands-on experience in court and at DMV hearings are your best assets when fighting a DWI charge involving issues such as:
- Reasonable Suspicion by police to stop your vehicle
- Field sobriety tests and refusal to perform them
- Blood alcohol content (BAC) testing using Breathalyzers or Intoxilyzer
- Resolution of criminal and administrative issues Federal criminal defense for DWI on Fort Bragg military base
Contact our offices in Fayetteville or Raeford to start an aggressive defense of your DWI charge.
Don't despair about what will happen next.
We will provide a clear explanation of the process, why it is worth standing up to fight, and how we can help.
You will always know that you have highly experienced DWI lawyers on your side.
For more on DWI charges in Fayetteville and Raeford North Carolina, check out our blog posts: North Carolina Law Blog - DWI