SUBMIT TO CHEMICAL TEST
As most people know when the police pull people over one of the first things they ask for is a license, registration, and proof of insurance. During most stops, the person after being identified is cited for some sort of traffic offense. However, if the police stop turns into a DUI investigation the police officer will ask many more questions. The officer will ask you questions regarding what you ate or drank recently, when the last time you slept, how long you slept, where are you going and where are you coming from. The officer will also request that you submit to various Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs). If after answering all of these questions and submitting to the FSTs the officer decides to arrest you, then the officer will ask you to submit to a chemical test.
ONLY TWO NOW AVAILABLE
There are three recognized and approved chemical tests used to determine a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC). These tests are the breath test, blood test, and urine test. These tests have varying levels of intrusiveness on the test subject. Obviously, the blood test is the most invasive has it involves a foreign body (needle) penetrating a person’s skin in order to remove that person’s blood. The breath is less intrusive as it requires a person to allow a tube to be placed in their mouth in order for the person to breathe into the tube. The urine test is the least invasive as no object is placed into a person’s body. Instead, the person needs to only to urinate into a small cup twice.
NO MORE URINE TESTS
So, one would probably assume that constitutionally that person can choose which test he or she submits to in light of an individual’s right to privacy against government intrusion into that person’s body. If all of the above tests can produce consistent results, can’t a person decide what test to submit to? The answer is a no. Generally, a person is required to submit to whichever test the officer requests. For instance, if a person wants to give breath but no breath machine is available then the person must give blood. What if that person is afraid of needles and would rather give urine? Does the fear of needles allow someone to elect a different test? No, the fear of needles is not a legal excuse to get out of submitting a blood sample. In fact, instead of requesting a urine sample the police can go to a judge and get the judge to sign a warrant to forcibly withdraw blood from a person. This is so because a urine test is no longer available in California as a choice of tests for alcohol.
In conclusion, a person does not have an absolute right to choose which test that person wants to submit to. The police typically require more intrusive tests then urine – the least intrusive test.