Mark J. Bamberger, Esq., Owner/Attorney and Counselor at Law
The Mark Bamberger Co., LLC
The police lights flash in your rear-view mirror. You tense up and feel your heart starting to race. Not again, you curse under your breath. Your mind races back over the past few hours and the number of drinks you had. Am I OK? Did I drink too much? How long ago was that last drink? It is natural to feel this way, even if you were doing nothing wrong. However, you might have to decide quickly on your course of action. Now, like all lawyers, we caution people not to drink any alcohol or consume any mind-altering substance and then drive. Hey, my family might be out there with you!
The question of whether to take the field sobriety test, which usually includes a “blow test”, is one that we get a lot. The answer is more complicated than you might think. There are attorneys that say never blow. Some say always blow. In fact, you need to consider your specific situation. As a general rule, many judges and courts make it harder on people to get what are called “driving privileges” should you get arrested if you refuse the test. “Driving Privileges” mean that even if you are charged with a DUI, you can get permission to drive on a limited basis, say to school or work or for family events, until you are allowed to get your license back.
The problem with refusing to blow, which by the way is your constitutional right, is that you are then presumed to be over the 0.08% limit and guilty. It is also true that in Ohio the fines and penalties grow the more you are over that limit. If you think you might well pass, a general rule is to take the blow test. You might indeed pass and even if you are over you might be only slightly over. If you know you will fail, leaving my guilt trip on you aside, the decision whether to blow or not to blow is a judgment call. Refusing might be better since they might assume you are less impaired than the data might present.
Again, don’t drink and drive, but regardless, know your rights and options. The Mark Bamberger Co., LLC does a lot of this kind of work and is at your assistance, should need representation in the SW Ohio region or federal court.