Three Reasons You May Want To Refuse A Field Sobriety Test

April 16, 2024
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If you’re in a situation where you’re pulled over for a New Haven DUI stop and the officer that pulls you over asks you to take a field sobriety test, you may wish to decline it. While declining to take a field sobriety test may lead to you having your license suspended, it may also reduce your chances of additional consequential outcomes down the road for you.

Being pulled over by law enforcement can be intimidating, but it is important that regardless of your situation you take the traffic stop seriously. When asked to do so, you should provide your license and registration freely, this is something you are required to do by law and you should not waste any time avoiding this step in the process. You will also want to answer any questions the officer has politely and while showing great respect. It is important that you are respectful in your engagement with the officer who has pulled you over and that you follow all of the laws, however submitting to a field sobriety test is not required by the law.

Before you decide that you are going to refuse a field sobriety test you should know that this could result in the suspension of your license. Also, when you are brought to the police station for follow-up you may be asked to submit to a breathalyzer or blood test and failing to submit to these types of test may carry heavier penalties then having your license suspended. These are considerations you should think about when you are deciding how you want to proceed. If you do get to the point where you are brought into the police station you may not want to say anything further and at that point ask to speak with an attorney before you say anything else.

When you are stopped by an officer you are not required to take a field sobriety test and there are other reasons why you may not want to take one, not just because it isn’t required by law. Some of the reasons you may not want to submit to a field sobriety test include the following;

1.) These tests often have limitations. Tests that are given in the field are often overcome with inaccuracies and can be unreliable. Conditions like your nervousness, fatigue and even certain medical conditions can affect the outcome of the tests. It is for this reason that these unreliable tests are not definite proof that you are intoxicated at the time that you are pulled over.

2.) You have a right to not self-incriminate and submitting to a field sobriety test may do just that. The results of the test may be potential evidence for an officer to use against you if your situation winds up in a court room. Refusing a field sobriety test will allow you to avoid self-incrimination and not give additional evidence to the officer to use against you in a court of law.

3.) You cannot be certain that the officer who is administering the test is doing it according to standardized procedures. You are entitled to things like clear instructions, specific timing and proper demonstration of the test. If these are not given or are incomplete they most certainly can affect the outcome and results of the test. This could leave you in a situation where you may not have understood the test parameters and then it will be used against you as evidence.

It is critical that you do not drive while under the influence of alcohol or other recreational drugs. Getting behind the wheel while under the influence of these substances is one really large way you could be putting yourself and others at risk of an accident. However, if you do find yourself pulled over as the result of a suspected New Haven DUI, you will want to make sure you have all of the facts and understand your rights so you don’t do something that will make a bigger mess of an already difficult situation.

If you are ever in this type of situation do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced attorneys who can review your situation and work with you to protect your long-term interests. Our attorneys have a wide-range of experience and can work with you on your situation that may be complex and need attention to detail.