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What are the pros and cons of refusing field sobriety testing?

On Behalf of | Aug 16, 2021 | dui/dwi |

Field sobriety testing is one way that police officers determine whether an individual is impaired by alcohol or drugs. Because the objectivity of these tests is in question, you may wonder if it is in your best benefit to refuse them or not.

What affects field sobriety testing?

There are many factors that can lead to a person failing field sobriety tests, including both serious and not-so-serious health issues. There is also no standardized “grading” system for officers to determine whether a suspect is truly intoxicated without further testing. Additionally, these tests must be performed in a perfect way, or the person is considered to have failed.

If you refuse field sobriety testing

You are allowed to refuse field sobriety testing even though officers may try to convince you to participate. Most often, an officer has pulled someone over because they already suspect that the driver may be intoxicated. The field sobriety testing helps to back up their suspicions.

It only takes a small amount of alcohol to impair a person’s judgment and function. Even if you have had just one drink, it is possible to fail a field sobriety test. Should you refuse to test, it is likely that the officer will arrest you and complete testing at the police station anyway, by which time your blood alcohol level may be below the legal threshold.

If you agree to field sobriety testing

If an officer pulls you over for suspected DUI and you haven’t been drinking, you may consider participating in field testing. If you’ve had one drink or less in the past hour, it is likely that you would pass a Breathalyzer test.

Keep in mind, however, that you may still fail some of the testings. Even if you pass, the officer can still arrest you if they feel you are a danger to yourself or others. Knowing your rights may help you decide whether to agree to field sobriety testing or not.



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