Drinking, Drugs and Driving: Arrest and Tests

Police officers can ask drivers to give a breath of blood, or they may be affected by alcohol or drugs. This article explains these things:

  • what the police can do with drivers who are not fit to drive
  • tests the police can ask the drivers to do to detect alcohol or drugs in their blood
  • the rights and responsibilities of drivers

Police can stop drivers who are unfit to drive.

Police can stop drivers who are unfit to drive.

Police officers on patrol can stop you if you have trouble driving your car, for example, you’re not driving straight, can not stay in your lane .

During random checks , police officers can check your driver ‘s license and registration papers. At the same time, they can check whether you’re fit to drive. Police can also put up roadblocks to check whether you’ve taken alcohol or drugs and test your ability to drive.

You must stop and have a police officer. The police officer can question you about your car, your driving and whether you’ve taken any drugs or alcohol.

Tests when drivers are stopped

Tests when drivers are stopped

Tests using approved screening devices

If a police officer checks you, the officer can ask you to give a breath. It uses a sample of your breath to determine your blood alcohol level.

A police officer who suspects you have used drugs for testing. It uses a sample of your saliva to estimate the amount of drugs in your blood.

These preliminary tests give only an approximate measure of drugs or alcohol and can usually be used in short. But they can give a police officer a good reason to ask you to take a closer look at a police station.

Physical coordination tests

Police officers can also ask you to do physical coordination tests if they suspect you’ve taken drugs or alcohol .

For example, they can ask you to walk in a straight line, turn or stand on one foot while counting out loud without losing balance.

They can ask you to do physical coordination tests only.

In addition, police officers can observe you while you’re talking to you. Here are examples:

  • strong smell of alcohol on your breath
  • red gold glassy eyes
  • slurred or difficult speech
  • loss of balance for no reason
  • incoherence, confusion and mood swings

Drivers’ rights and responsibilities

Police officers must ask you to do the screening tests as soon as possible after stopping you. You have a right to know if they will arrest you.

If asked by a police officer, you must

  • your license, registration certificate and proof of insurance,
  • blow to a test of a drug for testing
  • do physical coordination tests if asked.

Important! Refusing to do these tests without good reason is a crime. The punishment is usually the same as in your blood.

Police officers can question you, but you have the right to remain silent .

Consequences of failing initial screening tests

The results of the tests and the observations of the police and the police.

If arrested, you have the right to speak to a lawyer.

The police officers may do these things:

  • order a more detailed tests at a police station
  • take away your driver’s license
  • sixteen your vehicle

Refusing to go to the police station for further tests is also a crime.

If arrested, you have the right to remain silent but you must give your name, address and other information to confirm your identity.

For more information, read our article Rights During a Detention or Arrest.

Tests at a police station

At the police station, you may be asked to measure the exact amount of alcohol or drugs in your blood.

Breath sample test

The breath sample test involves taking a breath to measure the level of alcohol in your blood. It is more precise than the preliminary breath test using an approved screening device. If the result shows a blood-alcohol level on the legal limit (.08), it can be used as proof that you committed a crime. A qualified technician , who can be a police officer, gives the test.

Blood sample test

Blood sample test

You may be ordered to give a blood sample if it is difficult to give a breath sample .

For example, someone with asthma or a mouth or jaw injury may be able to get a good breath. The police officer can give the order to the hospital to give a blood sample.

Tests for drugs

Police officers can order more advanced tests if the tests at the police station give them reason to think your ability to drive is impaired by drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol .

They can order you to give you a blood test. The blood sample must be taken by a doctor or qualified technician.

They can also order tests done by a qualified officer (evaluation officer) . The evaluation officer can do a series of physical exams , such as taking your pulse or temperature, examining your pupils or asking you to follow an object with your eyes. This officer may also order a saliva, urine or blood sample or a breath test if you have not done one already .

After the tests, you may be formally accused of a crime. If found guilty, you will receive a sentence that can have serious consequences on your life . To learn more, read our article on the consequences of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

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