Operating under the influence (OUI) law in Maine requires drivers in the state to perform a “blood, breath or urine” test whenever lawfully asked by a uniformed police officer. But what exactly is a “blood, breath or urine” test?
The OUI defense lawyers at MCD Group explain.
OUI law now revolves around getting drivers to provide a breath, blood, or urine sample so law enforcement can see how much alcohol is in your blood. A key component in that effort is preventing drivers from refusing to provide those samples.
Maine does this through its implied consent law, which attaches a string to everyone’s right to drive in Maine: in order to drive, people have to agree beforehand that they will perform a test to determine their blood alcohol content (BAC) if asked. If they then refuse, they can face an automatic license suspension.
The terms of that implied consent law are found at Maine Revised Statutes 29-A § 2521, which says that drivers “shall submit to and complete a test to determine alcohol level and the presence of a drug or drug metabolite by analysis of blood, breath or urine” if there is probable cause to believe they are under the influence.
Police in Maine have a lot of options for testing an OUI suspect for their BAC. They can:
Importantly, it is the arresting officer who makes the decision about which test to do. Even if the driver is willing to perform a blood, breath, or urine test, refusing to do the test requested by the officer can be deemed a “refusal” that violates Maine’s implied consent law.
While Maine’s police officers have numerous options, the state’s implied consent laws are not all-encompassing. One crucial exception to the implied consent law is a field sobriety test, which involves neither blood, nor breath, nor urine. If a police officer requests you to do a field sobriety test, you can refuse to do so without being penalized with an automatic license suspension.
Whenever you deal with the police, including at a traffic stop, it is important to remember that their only interest is to gather evidence that you committed a crime. Even when they say they are only trying to help or protect you, they are still keeping an eye out for any evidence they can use to make an arrest.
If you are facing criminal charges in Maine, the attorneys at The Maine Criminal Defense Group are here to help. Call our office to speak with
one of our team members, who will discuss your case with you and set up a consultation with one of our attorneys
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