When police pull someone over for suspicion of impaired driving, it is common for officers to talk to the individual to see if they show signs of impairment or if they will admit to ingesting alcohol or other drugs before getting behind the wheel.
If an individual confesses to consuming intoxicating substances or if they display signs that they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, officers can then perform a field sobriety test and potentially request chemical testing to verify their suspicions.
Although most people will think of chemical breath tests as part of a roadside stop, fewer people realize that an officer can order other forms of testing if they suspect someone is driving under the influence of drugs.
New York has a broad implied consent law
In some states, the implied consent law only relates to chemical breath testing, but New York’s law is much broader than similar laws in other states.
New York specifically states that drivers give implied consent to blood tests, urine tests, breath tests and saliva tests. While breath testing is considered standard for alcohol impairment, other forms of testing can be more accurate. Additionally, blood or saliva test may be the only way to verify the presence of certain drugs in someone’s body.
Chemical testing helps the state enforce impaired driving laws
In theory, the rights of private citizens could make law enforcement on the roads difficult. Specifically, an individual’s right against self-incrimination, their right to bodily autonomy and their right to privacy could all complicate the process of securing chemical samples to prove impairment.
Given that drunk and drugged driving remain serious risks on the road and major contributing factors to fatal collisions, having rules in place that allow officers to test individuals who seem impaired while driving helps keep the roads safe.
Those facing allegations of impaired driving have the right to a defense, regardless of whether they failed a chemical test or refused to take one. From challenging the results of a test to claiming that an officer didn’t have grounds to conduct a traffic stop, there are many potential defense options available to those charged with impaired driving.