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Should I refuse to take a field sobriety test?

Imagine you went out for a business meeting, trying to secure a lucrative deal. Your prospective client, however, is a drinker and you succumb to his promptings to drink with him. The strategy worked, you inked the deal of your life, but then you had to get home and that’s where everything went wrong.

You make the bad choice to risk drinking and driving. A few blocks down the road, you hear the police siren and see the flashing lights in your rearview mirror. As the police officer approaches, your inebriated mind is running through all the possible scenarios. Should you take your chances and blow in the Breathalyzer? Should you submit to a field sobriety test?

What happens if you refuse to submit to the Breathalyzer and field sobriety tests?

The choice is yours, there is no legal requirement that you have to submit to either the Breathalyzer test or the field sobriety test, but whatever choice you choose — it will come with consequences. In most cases, refusing these tests will result in your immediate arrest. Police have the right to do this. By having a driver’s license in Georgia you have entered into what’s called “implied consent.” Basically, when you received your license you agreed to submit to these tests or face immediate arrest.

As a result of refusing a breath test, you may also lose your driver’s license immediately, and you could have a difficult time trying to get it back. Your insurance payments will probably also rise in cost as a result. The fact that you refused such tests will also be presented to a jury as evidence if your DUI case goes to trial. If it’s a blood test, on the other hand, you may refuse to submit to it.

Were you arrested and accused of drunk driving?

It’s impossible to advise someone whether or not they should submit to a Breathalyzer or field sobriety test because every single drunk driving arrest scenario is different. Yes, whether you agree to the tests or not, your decision will have consequences that could affect your ability to drive, your ability to defend yourself against the charges and your insurance rates. However, a criminal defense lawyer would need to evaluate the unique circumstances in the moment to provide the right kind of answer to this question.

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your DUI arrest — and regardless of whether you were actually intoxicated — you will have the right to defend yourself against the charges. Furthermore, you will remain innocent of the charges until — and only if — you are proved to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.