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What is the importance of a breath test?

If you're stopped for driving erratically, you may be asked to take a blood alcohol concentration test in the form of a Breathalyzer test. This test helps police understand if you are intoxicated by definition of the law. If you are, then you may immediately be arrested, and it's important that you begin defending yourself from that point on.

What is the importance of a BAC test?

When you're given a BAC test, whether it's with urine, breath or a blood sample, the goal is to accurately assess how much alcohol is in your bloodstream. Alcohol is quickly absorbed into the blood and can be measured within minutes, so the idea is that a police officer could tell if you were intoxicated when you were pulled over.

Can refusing to take the test have legal consequences?

In some instances, yes. If you refuse to take a test, you could be charged with driving under the influence or lose your license immediately. In most situations, taking the test is better than refusing to due to the fact that refusing may make you appear as if you are guilty. There are some situations where you could refuse a test, like if a police officer pulls you over and had no reason to do so. You can also contest a test that you had to take if you believe it was given inappropriately.

What are some symptoms of alcohol intoxication that the police look for?

Some signs of intoxication include being confused, being unsteady on your feet or driving erratically. The problem with these symptoms is that they can also be caused by a number of medical conditions. It is important for police to take a blood alcohol test to determine if it is intoxication or another medical problem. If they fail to do so or to consider a medical condition could be the cause of your erratic behavior, then you may have a case for getting the charges dropped later.

Source: Web MD, "Blood Alcohol," accessed Nov. 10, 2016

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