Sydney, Australia -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/31/2013 -- On September 5, 2010, a motorist was stopped by a detective senior constable for a breath test. The roadside breath analyzer test showed that the motorist had a concentration of blood alcohol that was beyond the prescribed limits. The police then requested that the motorist accompany him to the police station for a confirmatory breath test to see whether or not the concentration of blood alcohol was indeed beyond the prescribed limits.
The motorist refused saying that he did not have time just then as it was his father’s birthday. The officer told him that if he refused to take the confirmatory breath test at the police station he will be charged with refusing to take a breath test. The constable then repeated the request that the motorist accompany him to the station for the confirmatory breath test but the motorist decline saying that he will just pay the automatic fine. Again the constable informed the motorist that consequent to his refusal to accompany him to the police station for the confirmatory breath test, he will receive a summons to appear in court on the charge of refusing to take a breath test. The motorist signified that he understood that and that it was fine with him.
The motorist was charged with refusing to take the confirmatory breath test. He claimed that he did not understand what the officer wanted him to do and that he did not understand that he could be criminally charged for not taking the test. The court however ruled that the fact that the motorist told the constable the reason why he was refusing to accompany him to the police station was indication enough that he understood the implication of his refusal.
The court opined that while there is no obligation for a motorist to accompany the police officer to the police station for a confirmatory breath test, the law is clear that to refuse to take a breath test is a criminal offense. The refusal is the element of the offense. The court also held that the motorist was given sufficient information so that he could know what the officer required of him and why he was required to undergo a breath test. There is no duty on the part of the officer to demand or command the motorist to accompany him to take the breath test. The request is sufficient as it was made with sufficient information and with apparent authority, even if the request was couched in polite terms. Thus, the request made of the motorist cannot be said to be unclear or ambiguous. For these reasons the court found that the motorist’s guilt was proven and proceeded to sentence him.
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