Refusing a breath test does not eliminate DUI evidence

| Jul 10, 2019 | Breath Test Refusal |

When a Massachusetts motorist is pulled over by the police on suspicion of a DUI, it is natural to want to avoid giving the police officer any incriminating evidence by avoiding a breathalyzer test. However, even if you are able to circumvent taking a breath test, this does not mean that a police officer could not offer other evidence that you had too many alcoholic drinks in your system while behind the wheel.

As FindLaw explains, the observations of a police officer are considered evidence that can be used in court. An officer may offer testimony about erratic driving, odd conduct on behalf of the driver that can constitute a drunken state, and a disheveled appearance that may indicate inebriation. Officers can also testify to any incriminating statements made by the motorist.

It is also possible for evidence to be offered by other persons. While many drivers are stopped while driving alone, other motorists may have passengers who are riding along with them and can testify to the state of the driver. If a motorist is pulled over where there are people around, some of them could have witnessed the motorist’s driving and how the motorist acted if the officer instructed him or her to step out of the car.

Very Well Mind points out that police vehicles are equipped with dashcams. So police officers can take recordings of you as you drive, and can also record events such as pulling you over and asking you to step out of the vehicle to perform a field sobriety test. Even if you refuse the breath test, if the video shows you acting inebriated, it may be enough to convince a jury that you were drunk while behind the wheel.

While refusing a breath test or other field sobriety tests can eliminate ways to incriminate you, it does not mean that there are not other ways law enforcement can demonstrate whether you were drunk or not. It is best to carefully monitor your alcohol intake before you go driving, and if you find yourself arrested for DUI, to consult with professional legal counsel to understand your rights.