I was recently charged with a minor in consumption, without having been drinking, and I'm curious as to my options.
I was sitting in the backseat of a vehicle that was pulled over for rolling through a stop sign. There were five passengers, including myself, in addition to the driver. One officer approached the drivers side and asked for her identification. Another officer approached the passenger side, I was the only individual with an I.D. which I handed to them. They pulled each individual out of the vehicle separately and they each submitted to a breathalyzer. Two individuals blew above a .00, but because they were below a .02, the officers did not issue a citation (the driver had not consumed any alcohol).
I was the last individual to be taken to the squad car. I was entirely cooperative, yet still aware of my rights. When I was in the squad car, they asked if I had drank anything tonight. I told them, correctly, no. I was then read my Miranda rights
. Next, they explained the breathalyzer to me, told me that they would 'give me the same deal they gave my buddies', where if I blew below a .02, I would be let off. They asked if I consented to a breathalyzer and I politely refused to give my consent because I felt like I had no need to. I told them that I did not think they had cause to ask for a breathalyzer, to which they responded they smelled a strong stench of alcohol in the vehicle when they initially approached it. At this point, they asked what my major was in college, and then asked if it was pre-law (because I understood my rights at the time). The two officers left the car and one officer approached the vehicle that I was pulled over in. I was later informed that they had asked this group two questions, 1) What my major was and if I was pre-law, and 2) how much I had drank. I am unsure if my friends said my major, but they did say that they had no knowledge how much I drank or if I had even consumed any alcohol at all.
Then, the officers came back to the squad car and cuffed me. While they were filling out the paperwork, I requested a field sobriety test and as the paperwork was nearly completed, I believe (not 100% certain) that I requested a breathalyzer as well so that I would not need to deal with going to the correctional facility. I was told no to both (or at least to the field sobriety test, again I am not 100% certain if I requested the breathalyzer, but I believe that I did). When I asked what their grounds were to arrest me, they stated that I had bloodshot eyes (I was in the back of a dimly lit cop car, it was 1:30 a.m., and they did not shine a light in my eyes or anything similar to check), that I smelled of alcohol (I may have, I was around others drinking and may have had alcohol spilled on me), and that I was slurring my speech, which I do not believe that I was.
When I was booked at the correctional facility, one of the booking officers actually asked me 'what they got me for', and was surprised when I said minor in consumption, because I was not displaying any signs of being intoxicated or of smelling like alcohol. I was not given a blood test and was released on bail almost immediately.
-I refused a breathalyzer initially
-My later request for a field sobriety test (and I believe a breathalyzer) was denied
-I was not given a blood test at the correctional facility
-The only evidence the officers have is supposedly bloodshot eyes, stench of alcohol, and slurring of speech.
How can I fight this? Also, will this be publicized prior to the court
Thanks for the responses, I really appreciate the help.