Know Your Rights If Pulled Over For a DUI Test

Being pulled over for a roadside breath test can be a harrowing experience – even if you know you haven’t had anything to drink. However, if you do find yourself in the situation where you have been drinking and decided to get behind the wheel, these stops can cause even more anxiety.

Although the legislation differs between states and territories, you always have rights as a driver during one of these tests, and it’s important to know yours.

Australian laws in every state and territory show that drivers on their full licence should have no more than 0.05% blood alcohol content (BAC) when they get behind the wheel, and those on their learners or other special licences will be required to show a reading of 0. In order to check these amounts, police conduct random breath tests in a number of ways.

Unlike the United States where police need to have reasonable suspicion to breathalyse you, in Australia it is completely legal for an officer to pull you over at a roadside testing unit to see what your BAC is. Because it is such a common occurrence in this country, it’s helpful to know what your rights are if this should happen to you.

Providing A Breath Test Sample

If the police have asked you to provide a sample of your breath, in almost all cases you are required to do so. Refusing to cooperate with the test or giving an unsatisfactory sample, such as blowing with minimal effort, will mean you have refused a breath test and will be charged with this offence.

In Queensland, for example, refusing the test holds a maximum penalty of $4,000 and three months’ prison time.

Your Right to Speak

When pulled over, the police have the right to ask your name and address, and they must also inform you that not giving them this information is an offence for which you can be charged. You will also be required to produce your licence so that they can check your information, but nothing other than that is required of you. Both of these requests should be adhered to when pulled over for a mobile DUI test, regardless of what you think the outcome of your reading might be.

However, there’s no need for you to answer any further questions put to you by a police officer and you can exercise this right if you want. In addition, if you wish to film the encounter, you are also within your legal rights to do so, but be aware that this could inflame what may already be a tense situation.

What Happens After A Failed Test?

If the police do find that you’ve returned a reading above the legal limit on a mobile roadside test, they will ask you to take another test on a traditional breathalyser. If this also fails, you will need to leave your vehicle and accompany them to the nearest police station where a third and final test will be administered. This test will show a more definitive reading which will eventually be supplied to the court.

Although some people may find it a nuisance to perform this many tests, refusal to do so can result in far heavier fines and penalties than you would incur even on a high range drink driving offence. You do have the right to refuse the breath screening, though further charges.

The Day After You’ve Been Drinking

According to the Join the Drive QLD Government initiative, almost one in four Australian drivers don’t know when it’s legally safe to drive the day after drinking alcohol, and this can be one of the key times that offenders are picked up. Ignorance of this fact will not help you have your sentence lessened, but it is important to know so that you lessen your chances of being charged with a DUI offence in the future.

Call In A DUI Legal Expert

If you find yourself charged with a DUI offence, it’s essential to seek legal help from a professional with experience in these matters. The team at Boorman Lawyers are experts in helping those charged with drink driving offences and we will work with you to get the most favourable outcome possible for you.

We invite you to call us on 1300 941 900 for a private and confidential discussion about how we can assist you.


Speak to our DUI Lawyers Ph: 1300 941 900

Our DUI Lawyers can be contacted at:

Boorman Lawyers NSW & QLD Solicitors

Sydney NSW 2000
Bundall QLD 4217
1300 941 900
Know Your Rights If Pulled Over For a DUI Test was written by Josh Boorman a Drink Driving Lawyer.