If you are stopped by the police, one of the things you might want to know is if you have to take a field sobriety test. You should know that it is possible to refuse a field sobriety test, but there are sometimes downsides to doing so that could negatively impact your case.
Field sobriety tests are not usually, on their own, enough to lead to DUI charges and penalties. They are normally used in conjunction with Breathalyzer tests to reaffirm that you cannot drive safely, even if your Breathalyzer test was not positive.
You do have a right to refuse a field sobriety test, but doing so could result in an arrest based on the Breathalyzer test results and the suspicion of intoxicated driving. There are positives to refusal as well, such as limiting evidence against you. Depending on the Breathalyzer’s results, this could be beneficial to you.
The police want you to comply with testing
Remember that field sobriety tests are used to build a case against you, so the officers will push you to comply with the testing. Unfortunately, the tests are subjective, and you could fail them even if you are not intoxicated at all.
For that reason, it is usually better to refuse to perform them. Even if you were to choose to perform them and did pass them, the officer would still have the right to arrest you if they suspect that you’re impaired.
If you refuse a field sobriety test at the scene of the traffic stop, an officer may arrest you and ask you to perform them at the police station instead. If you refuse at the time of the stop, you can ask for your attorney and representation before agreeing to cooperate with an investigation.
You deserve support as you deal with your case
Every case is different, so if you’re accused of driving while intoxicated, you need to learn more about your rights and how to protect yourself. You should do your best not to give the police more support for the arrest, so you can avoid charges or a conviction.