2. Do I have a right to an attorney when I'm stopped by an officer and asked to take a field sobriety test?

As a general rule, there is no right to an attorney until you have submitted to (or refused) breath testing. There is a right to consult with counsel upon being arrested or before deciding whether to submit to a BAC test. You have the right to consult an attorney before your decision to take the BAC test, but you don't have the right to have the attorney present while taking the test. The general rule is that the officer only needs to take reasonable steps to place you in contact with an attorney, including providing you with the name and number of the public defender. If an attorney cannot be located after a reasonable attempt, you must decide without contact with an attorney whether or not to take the BAC test.

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  © 2003 James Franzen. All Rights Reserved.