One of the questions most commonly asked by drivers who are arrested for DUI in the state of Oregon is, “Should I take a breath test?” or “Should I take the breathalyzer test?” The answer to that question – like many questions related to DUI charges – is a complicated one. The majority of times DUI suspects won’t fully understand until they have sat down one of our Portland DUI lawyers.
“Breathalyzer” is a generic term that refers to one of the first breath testing device brands that are used to estimate blood-alcohol levels. Today, “breathalyzer” is a name that is used in a similar way that people used to state, “I will Xerox you a copy.” That was because Xerox was the very first company that produced a plain paper photocopier which resulted in “Xerox” becoming a verb and becoming synonymous with “copying” or “photocopying” even when it was done on a machine that was not a Xerox one. However, in the state of Oregon, a specific model and brand of breath testing device are used which is the Intoxilyzer 8000. However, many people still call it the “breathalyzer.”
- Can I speak to a lawyer or attorney before making the decision whether or not I should take a breath test?
- Do I have the right to refuse to take a breath test?
- Can I instead demand a blood test?
- Can I instead demand a take a urine test?
- What occurs if I take the breath test and I blow over the legal limit of .08?
- What occurs if I take a breath test and blow under the .08 legal limit?
- What occurs if I refuse to take the breath test in the state of Oregon?
- Should I take a breathalyzer test?
- Have You Been Arrested for a DUI? Call Trilogy Law Right Away!
Can I speak to a lawyer or attorney before making the decision whether or not I should take a breath test?
You will be given a reasonable opportunity to try to contact an individual of your choice – including a lawyer or attorney – before you provide to refuse a breath sample by taking a breath test. However, while you are refusing the breath test or taking the breath test you are not guaranteed the right to have a lawyer present or talk with an attorney.
Do I have the right to refuse to take a breath test?
Yes, theoretically. You cannot be forced by the government to physically exhale to capture your breath. However, if you refuse to take the breath test, there are financial, administrative, and criminal penalties that can be imposed on you. For more details, see below.
Can I instead demand a blood test?
In general, no. If you are hospitalized for medical treatment after an alleged DUI incident has taken place, a blood test might be available without taking a breath test first. Also, you will have the right to have a blood test perform on your own after a DUI arrest. However, you must first either provide or refuse a breath test sample.
Can I instead demand a take a urine test?
In general, no. You do have the right of performing a urine test on your own after a DUI arrest, however first, you must either refuse or provide a breath test. If the result of your breath test is less than .08, then you will be asked to provide a urine sample. If you do refuse to give a urine sample, then financial, administrative, and criminal penalties that can be imposed on you. For more details, see below.
What occurs if I take the breath test and I blow over the legal limit of .08?
That is the most common situation following a DUI arrest, and a request to take a breath test. From a statistical standpoint, a majority of breath test readings in the state of Oregon range from .11 to .16. When you blow over the .08 legal limit, typically there is an Implied Consent administrative driver’s license suspension. When a criminal charge gets filed and a conviction gets entered, there is a second driver’s license suspension made for DUI. Please refer to our page on “What is the legal alcohol limit in Oregon for additional information regarding the “legal limit.”
What occurs if I take a breath test and blow under the .08 legal limit?
In most cases, there will not an administrative driver’s license suspension with a DUI arrest that has a .07 or blow result. However, there can be a criminal charge filed still for DUI. If the DUI criminal case ends in a conviction, there still can be a driver’s license suspension. Please see our page on “What is the legal alcohol limit in Oregon” for additional information on the “legal limit.”
What occurs if I refuse to take the breath test in the state of Oregon?
Your driver’s license will most likely be suspended for one or three years (depending on whether or not you have a previous DUI arrest) and any delay to get a work permit or hardship for driving will be further delayed than if you took a breath test and then failed it (i.e. blew more than .08). Also, you will likely be charged with a “Refusing A Breath Test” violation (which carries a $650 fine). Finally, the prosecutor in your criminal case might be able to present evidence of you refusing to take the breath test and state to the jury or judge that your refusal is evidence of guilt (i.e. you were aware of being intoxicated and didn’t want to provide any evidence of this fact).
Should I take a breathalyzer test?
You most likely fall into one of the three following categories if you are reading this page:
- You are doing research due to a potential DUI arrest in the future or out of curiosity
- You were arrested for a DUI recently ad want to know whether you made the right decision or not
- You are in a police station, Intoxilyzer 8000 room, or in a jail cell and are wondering what you should do
If you are doing research due to a potential future DUI arrest or out of curiosity, then you should ask your lawyer this question. That is because of the broad implications and penalties for failing a breath test or refusing to take a breath test will vary depending on individual circumstances such as medical and physical conditions as well as your criminal history.
If you were arrested for DUI recently, and you would like to know whether you made the right decision or not, stop analyzing it. Talk to your lawyer about what you should do with the facts that you have currently. Any depression, frustration, concern, or anxiety brought on by second-guessing yourself of wishing that you could turn back time and do something different is counterproductive and might even be harmful to you.
If you are currently sitting in a police station, Intoxilyzer 8000 room, or a jail cell, and are wondering what you should do, call an attorney. Demand that the officials who are detaining you give you a phone book, phone, and privacy. There are many attorneys who can take calls on a 24/7 basis. TO make an informed decision on whether or not to refuse or take a breath test, your lawyer will need to have more information regarding your situation, your criminal history, weight, height, body type, time of driving, time of drinking, how much alcohol you consumed, whether you had food or not, whether you took any controlled substances, drugs, or medications, whether you performed the Field Sobriety Tests or not, and if you refuse, whether or not it is likely that a police agency will obtain a warranty and do a blood draw.
Have You Been Arrested for a DUI? Call Trilogy Law Right Away!
If you have been arrested for a DUI in the state of Oregon, Trilogy Law can help you. Contact us today and schedule a free case review. We will provide you with adequate information about the breathalyzer test in Oregon.