2. You cannot refuse field sobriety tests or an intoxilyzer test

When the police suspect a driver of operating under the influence (OUI), that officer has great discretion to stop the driver and require further testing. According to Maine Law, 29-A M.R.S.A. §2521(1) "If there is probable casue to believe a person has operated a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants, that person shall submit to and complete a test to determine an alcohol level and drug concentration by analysis of blood, breath or urine." Subsection (2) states that "A law enfocement officer shall administer a breath test unless, in that officer's determination, a breath test is unreasonable."

Subsection (2) causes some issue as an argument can be made that a blood test cannot simply be required without a person's consent, unless the test is being administered after an accident where "there is probable casue to believe that death has occured or will occur. . ." See 29-A M.R.S.A. §2522(1). But nonetheless, the issue remains that a driver has to submit to the breath test. As for the field sobriety testing, the OUI statute addresses a "failure to submit to a test at the request of law enforcement." See e.g. 29-A M.R.S.A. §2411. In §2411, there are various aggravated sentences to be imposed, ranging from a higher fine to longer mandatory minimum jail sentences, for failure to submit to a test - and a test is broadly written.

So, when pulled over for a suspected OUI, cooperate with the officer, with his or her requests for administrative testing. HOWEVER, you do not have to answer any questions, and should not answer any questions regarding anything that is fact specific and that can be later used against you in court, as discussed in section 1 above. 

The above information is not intended as legal advice and is merely a recitation of existing Maine Law. The contents herein are merely informational and to be used for broad educational purposes only. Nothing contained on this page or any other part of this website creates an attorney/client relationship, nor is it inteded to do so. For further information/legal advice on an issue you have or may have, please contact Willey Law Offices, or another licensed Maine lawyer of your choosing.