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Can You Decline a Field Sobriety Test?

Feb. 5, 2020

The lights of a Florida patrolman flash behind you prompting you to pull over. You have not done anything wrong, yet the officer wants you to conduct a field sobriety test. The question then becomes whether or not you should refuse the test. states that police officers use the field sobriety test when they suspect someone of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Regardless of why they pulled you over, if they suspect you may pose a risk to other drivers, they can request you do a field sobriety test. You can refuse to take the test.

Keep in mind that the officer wants to build a case against you. The field sobriety test is one way they can do that. By taking the field sobriety test, you do not necessarily prevent yourself from being subjected to a breath test or arrest. The officer may still arrest you after successfully passing the field sobriety test.

The police officer must have probable cause to arrest you. Completing the test can give the officer the probable cause they are looking for. Since the field sobriety test is not objective, it may not be in your best interest to do it. Each officer can score the test differently.

There is more than one way to fail this test beyond intoxication or drug use. An officer who pulls you over for suspected drinking and driving has likely already determined that you are before ever having you do a test.