There are a number of myths associated with breath testing and it’s important to understand – not only your rights – but also your obligations.
Here are a few of the common breath and drug testing myths:
Myth #1 – You Won’t Be Stopped Unless You Do Something Wrong
The police can pull over anyone and for any reason. You are obligated to provide a saliva sample for a drug test or a breath sample two gauge alcohol consumption. The police do not have to give a reason why they pulled you over, and the fact that you were driving safely is not a defence.
Myth #2 – If You’re in an Accident and It’s Not Your Fault, You Won’t be Breath Tested
In the case of an accident, everyone involved is likely to be breath and/or drug tested. As per Myth #1, the police do not need to provide a reason why they are testing you, and the fact that you didn’t cause the accident directly is not relevant. Even if you are injured, the police will likely ask you to provide a specimen.
Myth #3 – You Can Call Your Lawyer Before Providing a Sample
The cliché American television show, “I’m not doing anything until I’ve spoken to my lawyer,” does not apply to roadside tests. In fact, any attempt to delay the providing of a specimen may result in you being arrested. Furthermore, if you have been drinking or taking drugs, it’s unlikely that a short delay will have any impact whatsoever on your results.
Myth #4 – You Can Choose the Type of Specimen You Provide
The police hear this one all the time; “I’m not prepared to provide a breath sample immediately, but I’m happy to accompany you back to the police station to provideed a blood sample.” This is based on a couple of assumptions – that the delay will have a positive impact on the result (refer to Myth #3) and that the police officer will most likely not have the time or inclination to take someone back to the police station.
You are legally obligated to provide the sample that police ask for and failing to do so will likely result in arrest.
The Christmas season is a time of parties and celebration. It’s also when police are at their most vigilant, so make sure you take every precaution to avoid a drink-driving or drug conviction this festive season.