Should I refuse the breath test?
My personal opinion, based upon the lack of quality control utilized by the various police departments in their breath testing programs, and the high financial incentives that Police Officers have to make illegal arrests, and to embellish their testimony to be called for a trial, I would never submit to any breath tests or field sobriety tests even if I feel I am 100 % sober. This is the opinion I actually stated before a large audience of Lawyers, Judges, and Prosecutors when I gave a lecture on DWI before the Nassau County Bar Association in 2007. It is an opinion I still stand by to this day.
While some may argue that refusing to submit to these tests is harmful to a person criminal case, this is not necessarily the case. After many years of research, it is in my opinion, that tests results are not always reliable and test results can even be manipulated. While Prosecutors often attempt to argue that a person's refusal to take a sobriety test is motivated by fear of the test results, in arguing for a conviction in a DWI case. This is often times is far from the truth, and is a weak argument. In fact, such an argument by a prosecutor is often rejected by a panel of intelligent jurors.
One needs to consider that in Our Country, the DWI suspect or any other suspect, is Presumed Innocent under the U.S. and State Constitutions. Coupling this with the Law, that the Burden of Proof is on the Prosecutor, to prove the defendant was intoxicated beyond a reasonable doubt; a burden that never shifts onto a defendant, such an argument does not hold much credence.
In the United States and inclusive of every State within, a defendant never has to prove that they are innocent or sober by doing anything. In other countries like Iran, North Korea and China, Defendants have to prove they are innocent.
While there are legal ramifications should one be found guilty of Refusal to submit to a chemical test, I would still not advise anyone who was sober at time of confrontation or approached by police to place their life on the results of these tests, which I feel are unreliable at best.