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Can I refuse the breathalyzer and field sobriety tests?

In Hawaii, the officers will try to establish that you are impaired using so-called sobriety tests.  These involve the officer looking at your eyes while you follow an object, having you walk heel to toe and balance on one leg.  They will either try to cajole you into performing them or coerce you into performing them.  Do not let the officer do any of the tests on you.  If the officer does his job properly, he will ask you some medical questions first.  Do not answer those questions.  In fact don’t answer any questions at all.  Even if you feel you are perfectly sober, do not agree to do the tests.  They are designed for failure.  If you do not do them exactly right, you will give the officer enough to arrest and charge you.  With regard to the breathalyzer, at the police station, the state of Hawaii has created an odd situation.  You have the right to refuse to provide a chemical sample when arrested for DUI, generally.  If you choose to refuse there is, no longer, a crime associated with the act of refusal.  There is however a longer driver license revocation period associated with the act of refusing.  There are a number of details, that cannot be adequately addressed here, that pertain to the act of refusing to provide a chemical test at the station.  I cannot give advice on this particular aspect because the facts of every case are different.

The Contributor is Kevin O’Grady esquire. Kevin O’Grady practices in Honolulu, Hawaii, has been in practice since 1997, is a former prosecutor, a member of the National College for DUI Defense, the NACDL, and HACDL and he is a Major in the U.S. Army reserve as a Judge Advocate. His practice is 90% DUI and traffic related. He focuses on DUI, criminal defense, and Courts-Martial. He can be reached at 1-800-DUI-CASE, 808-521-3367, WWW.CriminalAndMilitaryDefenseHawaii.Com, or Paralegal1@CriminalAndMilitaryDefenseHawaii.Com

About Kevin O'Grady

Kevin O'Grady
Kevin O’Grady has a practice that is more than 90% DUI defense. For DUI criminal charges in Hawaii state and federal courts for the four years preceding 2015 97% of his clients do not have a DUI conviction when the case was finally completed. Originally from New York he has been a reserve Maricopa County Deputy, a Deputy Prosecutor for the city of Scottsdale Arizona, a Special Assistant United States Attorney and Chief Prosecutor for the Ak-Chin Indian Community, Special Assistant United States Attorney and Domestic Violence Prosecutor for the Salt-River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, A trial Counsel and Senior Trial Counsel with the United States Army. He is a Major in the United States Army Reserve and a Judge Advocate. He is certified as a JAG to handle all Article 32 Preliminary Hearings including Article 120 (rape and sexual assault) cases. He has handled cases from murder to rape to drugs to assault. He is qualified to administer Standardized Field Sobriety Tests under National Highway Traffic Safety Administration & International Association of Chiefs of Police Guidelines. He is also trained on the Intoxilyzer 8000. He is a member of the Arizona State Bar, the Hawaii State Bar, certified under Article 27(b) to appear in Courts-Martial cases, admitted to the State bars of Arizona and Hawaii, the Federal District Courts of Arizona, Hawaii and the Northern District of Texas, as well as the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He is a member of the National College for DUI Defense, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Hawaii Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He is also an Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Law Instructor. Mr. O’Grady lives in Kailua with his wife and two sons.

If you would like to contact the author, please visit: http://wwwcriminalandmilitarydefensehawaii.com


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