US Supreme Court To Revise DUI Law; Considers Criminalizing Refusal Of Taking Tests

  • K. Lawson Wellington,
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My advice today, notwithstanding this ruling, would still be to REFUSE the breath, urine or blood tests at the station. This especially so if one has, as is your right, refused the standard field sobriety tests at the traffic stop in the street. [It would beg the question, what would have been the legal basis for the ‘probable cause’ arrest? What articulable suspicion would the officer have had to lead him to conclude that the individual’s ability to drive was impaired and/or affected?]

Ultimately, it is a decision each individual will/would have to make with the full understanding of the consequences. These are: (1) Exposing oneself to a completely non-DUI charge – which still must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, but with an almost certain potential of being found guilty and 2) Still facing the suspension* consequences at DMV or MVA depending on whether one lives in DC, MD or VA.

I would suggest that each individual request that he or she be given a call to an attorney to seek legal advice. It is my opinion that the request would help to overcome the ‘conscious decision’ to refuse and make it harder for the prosecution to prove its case. [The prosecution always argues ‘consciousness of guilt’ as the only reason why an arrested person would refuse the tests.] Understand, this is not a completely new or novel phenomenon that the Supreme Court has arrived at here: the ruling was in December of 2015. That is the state of the law in MD today and has been for a number of years. If you are stopped for suspicion of DUI in Maryland and refuse chemical testing, you can still be arrested for DWI and DUI with a separate additional charge of refusing the breath, blood or urine test as the case may be. Of course, laws – subject to society’s norms and policies- are always being enacted and repealed. What wasn’t law yesterday is debated and enacted today and what is DUI law, as we know it, today – case in point – can be changed tomorrow: ‘Law today, gone tomorrow’. ‘Legally speaking’, this is my view. DC DUI Lawyer


It is important to contact a Washington, DC DUI defense attorney if you are facing drunk-driving charges in the District of Columbia. A DUI matter can have potential devastating consequences and an experienced DUI defense lawyer can make all the difference. If you, or someone you know, need legal assistance with this or a similar matter, call and ask to speak to one of our experienced DC DUI trial lawyers today: 202.486.1186.


Washington DC DUI Attorney Tip(s) On Refusing The DUI Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFST’s)

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