Hi, this happened to me a couple of years ago and it's still bugging me. Every time I tell the story everyone says I'm lucky, but at the same time it was an eye opener for me.
Was out one night with friends and drinking, obviously was watching my intake through the night. At the end I made the choice of driving. It was the end of November and the weather was extremely cold. We left the pub and within minutes I had a officer following me. He followed me for about 15 minutes before initiating a stop when I pulled into a local 7/11 store. Regular routine, license etc. Told me he pulled me over because my sticker was expired (30 days over) but also because he suspected that we were drinking because we came from an Irish pub and I had an irish flag in the back window of my car & because I'm Irish. My buddy, whose drunk, told the officer that's profiling and it's wrong. On a side note at the time it was a very big problem here with the officers and many were disciplined for it.
Anyways I was honest with the officer and told him yes. He asked if I would agree with some tests I complied. I passed the initial roadside tests, then he asked if I would do a breath test. I agreed. This is the part that bugs me.. he got the tester from between his center console and the seat, keep in mind that it's almost -25c and there is a windchill in effect. I blew the first time and he said I would have to do it again because he didn't think it was right...(displayed a bunch of letters) he turned if off then back on then I did it again.. this time came up with 0.03. Again he asked if I would do it a third time because he still wasn't convinced. I did it a third time and this time it came up with "F". He told me to wait and he went back to his car. After a couple minutes he came back and told me I had two options 1. 3 day suspension because I admitted that I had drank & he can smell it on me. 2 go to the station and do a test there.
I chose option 1. he advised me that after following me & my initial test he suspected that I was in the "warn range" Was given a ticket for the sticker & suspension. Was able to leave the car at the store where my wife picked it up in the morning (after getting new sticker) & 3 days later went and got my license back.
Now here's the confusion... WTF was going on with the breathalizer? Also on my record all it says it admin discipline plate validation. and the really confusing thing my rates never went up.. in fact they've gone down in the last 2 years since this happened. I've read that insurance companies can't use Admin discipline against you.. is this correct?
Just to add since this happened even if I have one beer I don't touch my car for at least 3 hours.
Your story is a little confusing and I have a few questions, clarifications, etc....
1. What province was this in? Because in Ontario we do not conduct Field Sobriety Tests as you described.
2. F on the roadside stands for FAIL. It means you're placed under arrest for Over 80mgs operation and transported to a police station to conduct another breath test.
3. Who knows what was going on with the breathalyzer - it appeared to not be working properly at the time, which is likely what saved your skin.
4. Just FYI, police don't need any particular reason to stop you while you drive, only to ensure the driver is sober, insured, licenced and that the vehicle is mechanically fit. Stopping you because he saw you coming from a bar is not profiling. I highly doubt he said "I pulled you over because you came from an Irish pub, you have an Irish flag in your car and you're Irish". Out of curiosity, what police service had a problem with profiling the Irish? Sounds absurd.
5. Generally, the series of events that you described is not how it goes. It goes like this:
police stop your car, smell booze on you... they then make a DEMAND that you provide a suitable sample of your breath into an approved screening device to see if you're legal to drive. If you REFUSE this test, you placed under arrest and charged with the criminal offence of refusing a breath sample. If the officer does not use the test and believes on reasonable grounds that your ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired by alcohol, he will arrest you for the criminal code offence of Impaired Driving.
If you agree to do the roadside test, and you pass, you're free to go. If you blow between 0.05 and 0.08, your DL is suspended for minimum of 3 days. If you fail the test (Result of 'F'), you are arrested and brought before a qualified breath technician to conduct further tests into the blood alcohol concentration level and you'll likely be charged with Over 80mgs operation.
No, I am not the chief of Toronto Police.
No, I do not work for Toronto Police...
... it is just a name folks