Federal Official Wants Mandatory Breath Tests for DUI

United States Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood feels that motorists exercising their right to refuse taking a breath test to check blood alcohol content is a legal loophole that needs to be closed. Saying that “refusing a breathalyzer is a persistent, ongoing problem”, LaHood advocates a national ‘no-refusal’ strategy for the upcoming holidays.

The implication is that those who refuse to submit to a breath test have something to hide, and by not providing evidence, there is a better chance of avoiding a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol. DUI criminal defense attorneys counter that the current social pressure is for law enforcement to arrest motorists with any presence of alcohol. The zero tolerance attitude makes little distinction between responsible social drinkers and chronic DUI offenders. The average blood alcohol content of repeat offenders is nearly twice the legal of 0.08%. In those cases, there is typically additional evidence available to the prosecution to make a case for intoxicated driving.

‘No refusal’ policies have been implemented in several locations across the US, including Austin, Texas, where the police chief utilizes search warrants to secure blood draws in suspected cases of drunk driving in Texas.

LaHood announced his ‘no refusal’ goal on Monday as part of a holiday crackdown on drunk driving. The federal government is advising local law officers to use search warrants to obtain blood samples from those who have refused to submit to a breath test.

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