When a police officer asks you to pull over, he must have noticed that you were driving erratically and became suspicious that you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The officer will ask you to do a field sobriety test that includes walking in a straight line, balancing on one foot and following with your eyes an object that the officer moves from side to side. The officer will also ask you to take a chemical test.
Can you refuse the field sobriety test?
Typically, you can refuse to participate in the field sobriety test because there are no penalties or legal consequences to the refusal. However, states have “implied consent” laws that request drivers who were legally arrested to submit to a chemical test if the police officer asks him to do so. If you unlawfully refuse testing, you can face license suspension which is typically longer than the suspension you would receive for a failed chemical test.
Many drivers attempt to refuse testing to avoid a DUI conviction because without any test results, the prosecutor has no evidence of what was exactly ingested before driving. However, the prosecutor has to inform the judge about the driver’s refusal to take the chemical test and argue that he is likely concealing intoxication.
In some instances, refusal to take the chemical test can be used as a legal strategy. While the refusal will generally lead to license suspension, it will be more be more difficult for the prosecutor to prove the DUI charges in court. However, refusal to take a chemical test will depend on many factors like state-specific laws and the driver’s level of impairment. It will take a lot of guts to refuse the chemical test. A good option will be to call an experienced DUI lawyer who can help you make the right call and will advise you of your rights.
If you are charged with DUI, the best thing you can do for yourself is to call Donich Law for proper advice. There are unfortunate consequences that cannot be avoided like license suspension but you will benefit from the best possible legal advice.