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Do I have to take a field sobriety test in Georgia?

People who have been convicted of drunk driving come from all walks of life, but they usually have at least one thing in common. They took a field sobriety test. Many people take the tests because they assume they will get in trouble if they don't.

In fact, you do not have to take a field sobriety test in Georgia. If you do, you are taking a test that was designed for your to fail. And if you fail the test, it can give the police officer probable cause to arrest you for drunk driving. The video of you failing the test can also be used as evidence against you.

There are several tests that may be included in the field sobriety test in Georgia. The most common are:

  • The walk and turn
  • The one-leg stand
  • The horizontal gaze nystagmus (tracking a pen or object the officer moves in front of your eyes)

The tests are more complicated than they sound. You will be required to follow the officer's instructions exactly. The results can be skewed by environmental factors such as background lighting, the surface you are walking on and the type of shoes you are wearing. In many cases, the police officer does not administer the tests correctly, increasing the chances you will fail.

The only test you are required to take in Georgia under our implied consent laws is a breath, blood or urine test. You do not have to take this test unless you have been arrested and the police officer has read you an implied consent notice. This test is typically administered at the police station a short time following your arrest. Refuse this test, and your driver's license will be suspended. However, you are not required to take a roadside breath test using a portable breathalyzer if you have not been arrested and read the notice.

If you have been charged with driving under the influence in Georgia, seek prompt legal advice from a lawyer who regularly defends DUI cases.

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