CAN POLICE FORCE ME TO TAKE A BLOOD ALCOHOL TEST?
In routine, non accident DUI stops, No, they can’t “force” you.
But, your refusal will result in an automatic one year suspension of your drivers license by DMV, regardless of anything else the criminal court might do to you.
There are several ‘tests’ available to the officers, including the in-the-field breathalyzer, and at-the-station or hospital urine sample or blood draw.
In addition, your refusal to cooperate with the the blood alcohol test, or the normal Field Sobriety Tests results in what is jokingly referred to as ‘contempt of cop’. It frequently results in a quick trip to jail and booking, followed by a well written police report describing in detail your poor thinking and behavior, which will support the officer’s conclusion of your impaired function from alcohol or drugs. He will also make that same conclusion based upon his observation of you doing poorly the Field Sobriety Tests, like heel to toe walking, and standing on one leg and touching your nose, etc. If you actually perform them all without impairment or ‘fault’ in his opinion, you might get to drive home, even if you refused the blood alcohol tests. If not….. oh well.
Prosecutors will make the same conclusion as the police in their report, and will argue all those issues to the judge and jury in support of conviction, with or without the blood alcohol test.
The decision to refuse the test is yours to make. [Except in an injury accident involved case where they can involuntarily draw blood]. Of course, submitting to the ‘breathalyzer’ test at the side of the road will give the officer an almost instant and accuracy certified reading of your blood alcohol level. If you haven’t been drinking enough to be at the legal limit level of .08%, which is about four beers for an average size adult man, you probably have nothing to lose by taking the requested test, plus it would then support your claim to the officer that you are not ‘impaired’ because you only had ‘two beers’. If you HAVE been drinking enough to be at or above the legal, then that test result will be used as evidence ‘of guilt’ against you in court.