Am I Allowed To Refuse A Breathalyzer?

In instances where a police officer has valid, legal grounds to request a breath sample, refusing a breathalyzer can result in a criminal conviction. Given the stressful nature of the situation, people often find themselves unsure of their rights.

Clients in Edmonton and surrounding areas have trusted the criminal lawyers at Raponi Rideout Tarrabain to help make sense of these complicated processes. Let us put our decades of experience to work for you.

What Constitutes Reasonable Grounds For A Breath Sample Request?

If a police officer suspects that you have consumed drugs or alcohol and have operated a motor vehicle in the last three hours, they may request an alcohol test. Refusing to comply with a roadside breath test could lead to a criminal charge and the automatic suspension of your license.

Are All Breath Sample Requests The Same?

No. The province of Alberta employs the use of two different types of screening devices to determine levels of intoxication. The first is an Approved Screening Device (ASD.) If you are asked to provide a sample for an ASD at the roadside, you do not have the right to contact a lawyer first. The results given by an ASD do not conclusively prove that you are impaired. They can, however, determine whether you will undergo further testing at a police station.

The second screening device is referred to as an Approved Instrument (AI.) If you are asked to provide a sample for an AI, you do have the right to contact a lawyer. Unlike an ASD, an AI can provide a numerical reading that indicates blood alcohol content. The result of an AI can potentially be used in court to prove your guilt.

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Whether you’ve been charged with refusing to provide a breath sample or have provided a sample that recorded elevated blood alcohol content, we invite you to contact us for an initial consultation. Call us at 780-429-1010 or email us to book an appointment today.

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