Can I Refuse to Take a Sobriety Test?
Interviewer: Can I refuse to perform the test? If I refuse won’t it help my case?
Nathan: You do have the right to refuse the standardized field sobriety testing on the side of the road, just like you have the same right to refuse the portable breath test on the side of the road.
It makes it more difficult to fight your case if you do that, because what it does is remove observations of your not being impaired, if that makes any sense.
If you go through field sobriety testing, yes, you have the potential to look impaired based on their evaluation of your performance. However, you also have the opportunity to show that you are not impaired. You can break all these down into a thousand different pieces. By not doing them, you take away a lot of quality defenses that an attorney might raise.
Interviewer: Obviously, it’s going to be used against you in a court of law. Realizing that it’s not going to help you, is it fair to say that the results of the test can only hurt you?
Nathan: A lot of people will argue that, that they can only hurt you. I, based on my experience and also training on the matter, really like to see standardized field sobriety tests conduct as well as performed by a potential client because it gives you an insight into what type of officer that you are dealing with, in this case, in terms of their training and experience.
It also helps you deal with what type of case you’re dealing with in terms of defending your client and the level of impairment that they would potentially show on video.