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Was refusing a breathalyzer test the right move?

I am currently 20 years old living on my college campus. Before I can tell my story I must shed some info from the past. Last year at my school, I was hit with a stroke of awful luck. After making it through 75% of my freshman year without any trouble, I managed to get 3 MIP's in a 3-week time-span. My drivers license was suspended for a year, I was suspended from my school for a semester, required to do 30 hrs of AA, and the whole thing cost about $10,000.... It was the worst experience of my life..

A year later, after a lot of growing up I was re-admitted into my school, I made back almost all my money by picking up 3 jobs, nearly caught up on credits by going to school full-time over summer, finished my AA, and put the past in the past. My license was going to be reinstated in 12 days.

Last night that all changed. I had been drinking at a local bar, just having a good time with my friends who were visiting for the weekend. We were on our way back when we stopped at my friends car so he could take a puff of some cannabis that he had. It was a very impulsive and dumb move for me to even agree to hang around the car with him while he did it. Little did we know a cop was patrolling the parking lot and saw my friend. He approached us, said it smelled like cannabis and proceeded to search us and the car. He found my friends 2 pieces, a grinder, and a fake ID he was using.

I had nothing on me.

The officer saw a bar stamp on my friends hand (I didnt have a stamp) and asked if we had been drinking. My friend knew he was caught red-handed, and admitted he was also drinking.. Knowing that I absolutely could not get another MIP or I'd possibly be kicked out of school again, I said I had not been drinking. He asked if I would be willing to do a breathalyzer test, and although I was only slightly intoxicated, I refused because I knew I wouldn't blow zeros. He badgered and pressured me to take the test but I stood my ground. The entire time I was being extremely cooperative and polite. "Yes sir", "no sir" to everything.

Then my world was turned upside down when he told me that I needed to turn around because I was under arrest for consumption of a minor because I "smelled like alcohol".... I had gum in my mouth so I feel he was just saying that to say that. But he took me to the back of his car and down the station.

He never read me my miranda rights.

I spent 4 hours in a prison cell. I was distraught and scared. I had never been in jail before. After posting bond for both me and my friend I was given my courtdate.

My question is.... Was refusing the breathalyzer test a good idea? Or did I make matters worse? Should I fight this ticket in court? I was never read my miranda rights, which is absolutely necessary when placing someone under arrest.

My entire life has just been flipped upside down..... Again.... All the hard work I put forth in making things right has now been wasted. I fear I will be kicked out of my school again, and for good this time.. Im almost positive my license will be gone until I'm 21.

Please, someone help. I don't know what to do. I am so distraught right now.

And please, dont give me the "well you shouldn't have been drinking" stuff

13 Answers

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  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    "They didn't read me my rights"

    So? all that means is that they can not use anything you said against you. If the police arrest you and wish to question you and then want to use what you have said against you then they have to read you your rights.

    Suppose the cops had just walked up and said have you been drinking? and you say yes. He can use that statement against you because you admitted to it before being placed under arrest.

    Your license will be suspended as it should be, it is very apparent that you have a drinking problem and my bet is that unless you do something about it now you will end up killing either yourself or some innocent person.

    Your life has been flipped upside down but who did the flipping?

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  • Lauren
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    First, don't confuse a breathalyzer test done inside the station with a PBT (portable breath test). A PBT (done on the street during the stop) is not admissible in court and is just used as a tool to see where you are at. Once taken into custody & at the station, you will be offered to take the breathalyzer test. The breathalyzer "is" admissible in court. In Illinoios, you have the right to refuse both of the breath tests, but the breathalyzer is the one that matters.....if you refuse (and you are convicted) your license will be suspended for three yrs....if you take it, your license will be suspended for only one year, if convicted.

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  • 8 years ago

    Especially since you knew the problems the penalty would cause you, drinking was a bad choice!

    As to refusing the breathalyzer? Not a bad idea, since you would have failed it anyway. Did it help you at all? Probably not! the officer's testimony will be enough to get a conviction.

    Stayed clean for almost a year ... now back in worse shape than you were. Hire a lawyer and hope for the best. IMHO you are probably going to get hit with the full penalty.

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  • Dan H
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    You aren't being charged with DUI are you? I'm guessing from all of that that you are being charged with possession. I don't see how your driver's license will be affected.

    It wouldn't be a bad idea for you to consult a lawyer, but your refusal to take the breathalyzer test just means that you will be convicted of possession just as if you had taken the test.

    Miranda rights only need to be read to you if they continue to question you after your arrest. Since they had all the evidence they needed to make the arrest, there would be no reason to continue to question you after your arrest, therefore no reason to read you your rights.

    There are different state laws and they apply in different ways depending on your individual case circumstances which is why it is a good idea to consult a lawyer in your area before your court case comes up.

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  • 8 years ago

    First, there is no such thing as a suspended license under legitimate Statute. You are being victimized by fraud and deception.

    Not sure what academic or carreer choices you will be making, but it sounds like you need to be studying law for a couple of years. Research 49 CFR, Part 383 (general applicability) and 49 USC, Chapter 313 (limited applicability). Those are Federal law involving the issuance and regualtion of commercial driver's and licenses. You will find that there is no suspension Statute. As such your STATE (municpal corporation) must follow Federal Law or it is null and void. You STATE license issuing agency may claim that you are suspended, but confront them and ask them if THEY issue regular, non-commercial licenses, THEY will say NO! Then, ask them what Statute suspendes the commercial driver's license, THEY will say there is none!

    Mranda, is a big front. From my perspective a police officer does not even have the authority to determine which Rights I will be afforded and which ones are taken away. It is all a bing scam.

    It is all commercial (27 CFR, 72.11). Just sign everythin "authorized signature UCC 3-402(b)(1)."

    Then, start studying law starting with the Uniform Commercial Code.

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  • 8 years ago

    For an MIP, not taking the breathalyzer might work out in your favor, hire an attorney and see what they say.

    Definitely fight it.

    Your Miranda rights don't need to be read to you on arrest, they need to be read to you if:

    a) you are arrested or detained

    AND

    b) the officer intends to question you regarding the alleged crime.

    Since he already thinks he has enough proof, he has no need to question you. Even if he DID question you, the only thing that you could do, is have anything you said to him after arrest, ruled inadmissible in court. It does NOT negate the charges except on television.

    Sounds to me like the best thing you can do, is quit drinking.

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  • 8 years ago

    Good move.

    Despite pressure from the cops you didn't give up evidence against yourself.

    Everybody has seen the opening of Law and Order...the police investigate crime.....

    You are presumed innocent without evidence they got the cops word vs yours.

    Cops use the 1st tool 1st. You didn't run or mouth off so they assume you are at least an OK guy if not a pus*y they can intimidate.

    2nd tool,they try to upset you by taking you to "jail" little more than going to the precinct.

    You wont be going to "jail" till at least after you see a judge and get a chance to make bail and get a lawyer.

    Cops know most people don't know that and try to bully you.

    You did right.

    Never admit anything close to serious without a lawyer present.

    The cops are NOT your friends,they want the arrest and to go home at the end of the shift.

    You are nobody to them,just another problem.

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Quit hanging out with idiots who smoke weed. Get yourself a lawyer. I recently got cited with 3 DUA's in a 6 month span. One got dismissed, and I had to do community service for the other two. However, none of the three were with the same court system. Refusing the breathalyzer test is a bad idea in most states, because upon refusal your license is automatically revoked for a year, but you need to know your state laws. The rights you think you have, do not exist unless the officer wants to recognize them. It's his word over yours. He's gonna win every time.

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  • avgjoe
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    You did the right thing by refusing to the test. Now it would be a good idea to consult with an attorney in your area as the state has circumstantial evidence and nothing concrete as they would of if you would of taken the test. This is why the officer badgered you a little. However, by the wording of your question you are going to need representation.

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  • 8 years ago

    1) NOT a felony. No Mirandas required. Anf the Supreme Court says if you want Miranda you gotta ask for it the cops no longer have to tell you your rights. Even people in france know what Miranda is. So doi you apparrently.

    2) The way the law is written in most (if not all) states, refusing a breath test is considered evidence of guilt, self-incrimination be damned.

    3) it is the wrong thing to do.

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