Why Refuse DRE?
They’re Not Roadside Tests
The DRE process is never to be administered on the side of the road, or in any other non-controlled environment. Unlike the SFST program, the DRE program specifically states that officers are to perform these tests in a controlled environment. Usually they are performed at the jail or other holding facility.
You’re Not Required to Submit to DRE Testing
Unlike the breath, blood, or urine test you are not required to submit to the DRE examination. By the time the DRE officer requests you to submit to these tests you have likely already proved you are under the legal limit for alcohol. The only reason they are requesting you submit to the DRE examination is so they can find another reason to charge you with DWI.
Mistaken Beliefs about DRE Exams
If the officer tells you he will release you if you pass the DRE examination – or any other examination for that matter you can be sure of one thing: There is no way you will pass the test. Remember, the officer who made you that promise is the one who will judge whether you pass or fail.
What’s more, the officer cannot “unarrest” you. There is no such thing as being unarrested. Once you are arrested, you are arrested. The Prosecutor can make the decision not to pursue charges, but the officer does not have the legal right to erase your arrest.
Carrot and Stick Questioning
We’ve all heard of the good guy/bad guy interrogation technique. That is where one officer will be the bad guy, and one officer will be the good guy. Most DRE’s will likely play the good guy. In fact, that is what they are trained to do. They will tell you that the arresting officer believes you are impaired on drugs, and the DRE is only there to confirm or deny that belief.
The DRE may even say something to the effect of, “It doesn’t look to me like you’re very impaired, but I have to perform the tests to make sure.” The DRE will stress that he was not the one who arrested you. He may even stress that he is your only ticket out of jail. If you pass his tests, then the arresting officer won’t be able to say you were too impaired to drive.
Don’t fall for the oldest trick in the book. Cops are permitted to lie to you to get you to perform tests, or admit things that you otherwise would not. Even though you will likely face charges for lying to the police, they are given a free pass to lie to you all they want.
By telling, or implying, to you that you will be released if you pass the DRE examinations the officer is using the carrot and stick routine. He is offering you freedom if you pass, and threatening to keep you locked up and charge you with DWI if you fail. The fact of the matter is you will almost assuredly fail the DRE examinations. If you were going to pass, you would have passed the simpler SFST examinations on the side of the road.
Don’t Forget Miranda
By the time the DRE officer meets you the arresting officer has almost assuredly read you the Miranda Warning. If one police officer reads you Miranda, any other officer can question you without re-reading Miranda to you. The Miranda requirement is not specific to a particular officer, but to all police. Do not believe that since the DRE officer did not read you Miranda the statements you make cannot be used against you. They can, and they will!
Watch Out For Big Writing
One trick that officers oftentimes use to convince a non-cooperating suspect to cooperate is to write “REFUSED!” in big letters across any forms they are completing when you refuse to answer their questions. This is known to create a psychological pressure to many suspects. We all know that judges and jurors are not going to like it when people refuse to cooperate. This technique is often used to make you rethink refusing.
Remember this: It is better to be seen as uncooperative than to give over any evidence to the police. If you think you need to cooperate, then ask to talk to a lawyer in Houston with DWI experience before agreeing to do so.