Legal to Refuse Field Sobriety Test?

January 21, 2015
Legal to Refuse Field Sobriety Test?

You’ve been pulled over and now the police officer is asking you to perform a field sobriety test. Can you say no?

If you refuse a breathalyzer and/or a blood test an officer is able to automatically suspend your license, but refusing a field sobriety test might be your best legal option.

Field Sobriety Test

Field sobriety tests (FSTs) are done when a police officer suspects a driver to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They are somewhat reliable tests when it comes to deciding whether a person is legally intoxicated or sober enough to drive.


You are able to legally refuse to take any tests – FSTs, Breathalyzer tests, or blood tests – unless an officer has a warrant. But, if an officer is able to obtain a warrant after you refuse – this can be done over the phone with a judge – you will be legally forced to take a blood test.

Refusing a Field Sobriety Test and Refusing a Breathalyzer? Same Thing?

Just because you refuse a FST or a Breathalyzer you cans still be arrested. But the legal consequences are different between  refusing a field sobriety test and refusing a Breathalyzer. In every state, implied consent laws mandate that drivers will have their licenses suspended for refusing a blood or Breathalyzer test. But these laws do not require you to submit to a field sobriety test. The laws also do not outline penalties if you refuse one. So chances are, if you refuse to perform the FST your license will not be suspended.


If you have more questions about your DUI case, consult with a DUI attorney today.

Source: FindLaw Blotter, Can You Refuse a Field Sobriety Test?, October 16, 2014

The Law Office of Peter Berlin – Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney
16130 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 570, Los Angeles, CA 91436
(310) 289-5418
(310) 289-5418