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Are field sobriety tests mandatory?

On Behalf of | Dec 24, 2021 | DUI charges

Getting pulled over is never what you want to experience on your way home. In the moments between when you stop your vehicle and when the officer approaches your car, you hope that you have a tail light out or committed a minor traffic infraction.

Once the officer starts asking about drinks during the night, you may feel a sense of panic. You may not have a clear idea of what tests you must submit to and what you can refuse.

Here’s what you should know about field sobriety tests in Georgia.

What do field sobriety tests measure?

Field sobriety tests are a way for an officer to attempt to evaluate your coordination and ability to make quick decisions on the road. Unfortunately, some tests are difficult, even for a sober person.

In many cases, an officer has already decided if you will pass the field sobriety test before you ever step out of the vehicle. Since the standards for the test are subjective, an officer might see shortcomings that are not there.

Can I refuse?

In addition to being able to refuse a field sobriety test, Georgia courts have also stated that drivers may refuse breathalyzer tests too. While your refusal of these tests cannot be held against you if you end up facing charges, the officer could still get a warrant for a blood test.

For someone who is nervous, tired or simply uncoordinated, a field sobriety test can be challenging to complete, regardless of how many drinks you had. You can politely decline the test, but you should be aware that the officer will likely take steps to get a blood sample.