Can You Refuse Field Sobriety Tests?
Field sobriety tests are one of the tools a police officer uses before arresting someone for driving while under the influence. Field Sobriety tests are far from being accurate and a person should always refuse field sobriety tests if asked by a police officer. This is especially true considering that there is no penalty for refusing field sobriety tests. Unlike a breathalyzer test, a person’s driving privileges will not be suspended under the statutory summary suspension law for refusing field sobriety tests.
Should I Refuse Field Sobriety Tests?
Aside from a Breathalyzer, the results of field sobriety tests are typically the most compelling pieces of evidence that are offered by the prosecutor in a drinking and driving case. However, Illinois DUI laws do not require or penalize anyone for refusing field sobriety tests. While someone may feel compelled and persuaded by the police officer to submit to a Breathalyzer and avoid the longer suspension period, that similar compulsion does not exist for refusing field sobriety tests. In fact, no one should submit to field sobriety tests; unfortunately most people perform field sobriety tests even when they ultimately refuse the Breathalyzer.
What Field Sobriety Tests Can I Refuse?
Every field sobriety tests can be refused. This includes the standardized field sobriety tests such as the Walk-and-Turn test, the One-Leg Stand test, and HGN test; the non-standardized field sobriety tests; and the field sobriety tests for cannabis such as the Near Point Convergence test and the Romberg Balance test. Portable breath tests (PBTs) can also be refused without fear of receiving a statutory summary suspension.
What Will Happen If I Refuse Field Sobriety Tests?
Unfortunately, refusing field sobriety tests likely will result in you being arrested for a DUI charge. However, in my experience I have never seen someone be let go after submitting to field sobriety tests. Essentially, if an officer is asking you to perform field sobriety tests you are already being arrested for a DUI and your job is to give the prosecutor the least amount of evidence as possible.
If you didn’t refuse the field sobriety tests and you submitted to them, all hope is not lost. An experienced DUI attorney can still beat your DUI case by having the results of the field sobriety tests excluded from evidence or to have the officer’s testimony discredited.
Jaleel Law P.C. is led by a former prosecutor and a Top 40 Under 40 Attorney who has won DUI cases for his clients even if they did not refuse field sobriety tests. Contact us today to discuss how we can do the same for you.