Failed the Roadside Test, But Passed at the Police Station. What Happens Next?

If you are arrested for suspicion of DUI based on a field sobriety test or breath test, you may be able to request to have another breath test taken at the police station. Whether or not you’ll be able to varies by jurisdiction. In most states, you have the right to request a urine test or a blood test to determine more accurately your blood alcohol content (BAC).

In this Drunk Drivers Rights guide we discuss what happens if you have differing sobriety test results on scene and at the police station.

Failing a Field Sobriety Test

In rare cases, a driver is arrested for DUI due to a failed field sobriety test without a breath test being taken. If you get to the police station and pass a breath test or blood test, you should be released and the charges should be dropped. If they are not dropped, speak with an experienced DUI attorney and they should be able to make a good case for getting the charges dismissed.

Failing a Breath Test before Passing a Breath or Blood Test

This scenario makes it a little more difficult to predict what will happen. If you were significantly over the legal BAC at the traffic stop but barely under the BAC at the police station, the charges might remain in place and you’ll have to fight them in court. Still, a proven DUI lawyer should be able to make a strong case when fighting the charges.

If you were barely over the legal DUI limit during a roadside stop and then significantly under it at the police station, there is a good possibility you’ll be released and the charges dropped. This is true since a portable breath tester is typically not viewed as being as accurate as a stationary unit or a blood test. If the police don’t drop the charges, talk with several DUI attorneys and find one who has a track record of winning in this type of case. They are typically the easiest charges to have dismissed.

In either of these scenarios, it is possible that the police will use a forensic scientist to recalculate your BAC based on the results from both tests and the amount of time that passed between them. However, most police agencies will not go to the trouble. They’ll either drop the charges or take their chances of having them stick in court.

No matter what your circumstances are, a dependable drunk driving attorney will be able to advise you about your options and prospects for winning your case.