Before Your Arrest
Understand Your Rights To Pre-Arrest Test During A DWI Investigation
You’re driving through Greensboro when all of a sudden you’re pulled over by the police. They suspect you are driving under the influence. Being arrested and charged for a DWI can have lasting effects, so knowing your right to a pre-arrest test could save you from possible jail time, fines and a permanent record. You may be able to avoid such difficult consequences by asking for a pre-arrest test.
Once an officer implies or asks if you’ve been drinking, BEFORE the police begin their standardized field sobriety tests, you have the right to immediately ask for a pre-arrest test. If you are NOT impaired, this could prove you are not under the influence and keep you from an arrest record. Law enforcement has to stop their investigation and then take you downtown to the EC/IR ii machine for a breath sample. Once at the EC/IR ii machine, law enforcement may continue their investigation and arrest you if you refuse to give a sample at that time.
The Special Right For A Pre-Arrest Test Under North Carolina General Statutes § 20-16.2 :
Right to Chemical Analysis before Arrest or Charge. – A person stopped or questioned by a law enforcement officer who is investigating whether the person may have committed an implied consent offense may request the administration of a chemical analysis before any arrest or another charge is made for the offense. Upon this request, the officer shall afford the person the opportunity to have a chemical analysis of his or her breath, if available, in accordance with the procedures required by G.S. 20-139.1(b). The request constitutes the person’s consent to be transported by the law enforcement officer to the place where the chemical analysis is to be administered. Before the chemical analysis is made, the person shall confirm the request in writing and shall be notified:
- That the test results will be admissible in evidence and may be used against you in any implied consent offense that may arise.
- Your driving privilege will be revoked immediately for at least 30 days if the test result is 0.08 or more, 0.04 or more if you were driving a commercial vehicle, or 0.01 or more if you are under the age of 21.
- That if you fail to comply fully with the test procedures, the officer may charge you with any offense for which the officer has probable cause, and if you are charged with an implied consent offense, your refusal to submit to the testing required as a result of that charge would result in revocation of your driving privilege. The results of the chemical analysis are admissible in evidence in any proceeding in which they are relevant.