People sometimes think that if they “pass” a Breathalyzer test, they won’t have to face criminal charges for drinking and driving. This isn’t the case at all. It is sometimes possible to face drunk driving charges even if your blood alcohol concentration is lower than the .08 percent legal limit when you take the breath test.
One factor that the officers can use is the standardized field sobriety test results. If you fail that battery of tests, you could be considered too impaired to drive. In that case, you could face criminal charges. These tests are sometimes considered subjective, so that should be a consideration if you are arrested based on the results.
Interestingly, if you take a breath test and fail it, the results of the field sobriety test could help your defense if the field sobriety test shows that you aren’t too impaired to drive. This is an important factor in some cases. If the field sobriety test was filmed, you might be able to use the information in your defense.
Another factor that can lead to criminal charges is what statement you make to police officers. If you tell the officer that you have had 10 drinks in the past few hours, you would likely face criminal charges if you are showing signs of intoxication. For this reason, it is often best to decline to answer questions of this sort until you speak to a lawyer.
In all criminal matters, you have rights. Learning those rights and how to exercise them can help you in drunk driving cases. Be sure to consider these rights as you build your defense.
Source: FindLaw, “Passed a Breathalyzer Test? It Won’t Always Get You Out of a DUI,” accessed Dec. 23, 2016