Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Greetings! I am happy to help you on this matter. Generally, when there are "checkpoints" put into place most jurisdictions have to advise the public of such checkpoints. However, you bring up a different and interesting legal issue, what happens if they smell alcohol during a "seat belt" check point as opposed to a "sobriety" checkpoint?
Arguably, it would defy common sense to ignore their opinion or "hunch" that they smell alcohol on a driver's breath. Please note, I am not suggesting you did have alcohol on your breath. This is often a way for police to get you out of the car.
However, according to the law, if the police suspect you may be impaired by alcohol, they have the right to begin other investigatory measures.
I am not sure if they will say that your "face was flushed" "eyes were bloodshot" "speech was slurred" which are all common buzz words among police officers for the courts.
Nevertheless, these are all issues a well trained lawyer will tackle and ferret out.
Nevertheless, YES, they can ask you to blow into a breathalyzer. Yes, they can require you to drive to a facility if the first test does not work. It is common for the machine not to register alcohol either because you were not drinking or because they say "you were not blowing hard enough."
Now if you refuse to blow into the machine your license was likely revoked for one year.
I strongly believe you have some good defenses to your "refusal" and the original "detention." One issue is the stop itself-was it lawful? Seatbelt v. Sobriety check point?
Second, your initial willingness to blow and the failure of the machine.
Third, the impact of your refusal at the police station. Keep in mind, the driver's license issue is a separate administrative procedure. A lawyer will handle all of this.
I hope I answered your questions, if not please let me know so I can earn positive credit.
I am sorry that you did not find this helpful. I am not sure what you are looking for in an answer.
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