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What to Know If You Refuse Field Sobriety Tests

Many people have been pulled over for driving under the influence (DUI). In fact, the FBI reports over 1.1 million people were arrested for a DUI in 2014. When a police officer suspects you’re driving impaired, you may show obvious signs such as serving or drifting into another lane. But even if you’re pulled over for an expired license plate tag or a broken brake light, you can be given field sobriety tests field sobriety tests(FSTs) if you’re suspected of driving while intoxicated. Before being pulled over for a DUI, you should know the facts about these traffic stops.

You Don’t Have to Comply With Field Tests or a BAC Test

When a police officer asks you to take FSTs, he may administer the following types of tests at his discretion:

  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus (following a light with the eyes)
  • One-leg stand
  • Walking in a straight line and turning

Police may use any or all of these tests; however, these tests are not always accurate enough to definitively determine sobriety.

If you refuse to comply with field tests and are arrested, the police will likely ask that you take a blood alcohol content (BAC) test. While you’re not required to comply with any of these tests, you may lose your license if you refuse them and may still be arrested for a DUI. If you choose to comply, you may want to request an independent BAC test at the hospital in addition to the police’s test.

If You’re Stopped for a DUI

If you were pulled over for a DUI and refused an officer’s request to take FSTs and a BAC test, you may need the help of a skilled attorney. The experienced legal team at Duffy & Feemster can help. Contact us at (888) 707-1197, or start a live chat on our website to get started on your case.


Dwight T. Feemster
Dwight is a civil and criminal attorney in Georgia.

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