Dealing with the Police

Dealing with the Police: Your Rights:


The Police MUST read you a form which says:


You are advised that you have been detained for the carrying out of breath or blood test procedures.

Note that the two do not necessarily have to occur. Given the limited nature of what has to be proved as regards an allegation of Driving with Excess Breath Alcohol, you would be well advised to decline to undergo the Evidential Breath Test (it is NOT a compulsory test) unless either of the two circumstances below apply. *(A). Just say, No. The officer is then empowered to require you to provide a blood specimen. (This IS a compulsory test.) Make sure youcomply with any such request.

You have the right to refrain from making a statement and to remain silent.

But of course you cant remain silent, as the officer is empowered to then require you to make choices. Dont be confused by this. Keep your answers simple, to the point and as short as possible.

You have the right to consult and instruct a lawyer without delay and inprivate.

Ask for privacy. Dont be intimidated.

This right may be exercised without charge under the Police Detention Legal Assistance Scheme.

In essence the Police officer must tell you that:

(a) If you are unable to contact a lawyer you know of, the police hold a list of on call lawyers for you to call on a free phone,

(b) Those lawyers are readily available on call for prompt and direct access and,

(c) They will give you free advice.

You may also exercise this right before deciding to answer any questions that may be put to you.

So do it!

Anything said by you will be recorded and may be given in evidence.

In practice this is routinely breached as virtually anything said by you is not recorded. Make your own notes of any conversations you have with any officer/s, if not at the time then as soon afterwards as you can.

These rights will continue throughout the breath/blood alcohol procedures.

You can call a lawyer again after the Breath Test if you need further advice.

If you wish to consult and instruct a lawyer, a telephone will be made available for that purpose as soon as practicable, and before you undergo an evidential breath test, blood test or both.

So do it!

You will have a reasonable time to consult and instruct a lawyer from the time a telephone is made available to you.

So if the first lawyer you try to contact is unavailable, ask to call another one.

Get in touch now!

  • Suite 6, level 6
    Albert Plaza Building
    87-89 Albert Street
    Auckland City
  • Phone: 09 3772278
  • Mobile: 021 942 627
  • Fax: 09 3772284
  • Email: steve@auckland-lawyer.co.nz