“No thank you officer, I have been advised by my lawyer not to do any of the field sobriety tests.”
This is all you need to say when the police want to make you walk the line, do the eye/pen test, or one leg stand. Why? Because these tests are not mandatory, not required by law, and there is no implied consent that you will submit to these tests. The bad news is that the police may arrest you for drunk driving after you refuse, but in almost all cases when the police want you to take a roadside drunk driving test, they have already made up their mind to arrest you.
Agreeing to do the field sobriety tests will only give the Georgia State Patrol or Atlanta Police Department more evidence to use against you in court. There is no requirement that you should do any of these tests, even if if the cops think you have been drinking. None of the standardized field sobriety test is 100% accurate, even when they are correctly administered by the police. Since they very rarely help you, and almost always hurt you, there is no reason to agree to do these tests.
No Implied Consent to Georgia Field Sobriety Tests
The law says that by driving on Georgia roads, you have agreed to submit chemical tests if arrested for a DUI. But there is no law that says you consented to field sobriety tests.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and law enforcement believe that the three primary field sobriety tests: HGN Eye Test; Walk and Turn Test; and One Leg Stand Test are accurate measures of intoxication. While no test is 100% accurate, chemical tests can be a much more accurate determination of how much alcohol a driver has in their system. But field sobriety tests, even under optimal conditions, are not even 90% accurate. The NHTSA even says so.
You Have the Right to Refuse
The police may make it seem like you have to do the field sobriety tests, or make it seem like you'll get arrested if you refuse, but don't let them trick you. They may say something like:
- “If you don't take the tests, then you're going to jail.”
- “If you're not drunk, then just take the test to show me.”
- “Everyone else takes these tests, why aren't you?”
There is no requirement to do to these inaccurate roadside tests that are designed to make you fail. Don't let the police coerce, intimidate or mislead you into taking roadside sobriety tests. It's better to refuse, and take your case to court, where your rights will be defended by your lawyer. You don't have the right to a lawyer to stand by your side when walking the line on the side of a busy highway.
Georgia DUI Defense Lawyer
If the police coerced you into taking the field sobriety tests, you need a DUI lawyer who will defend your rights, and get those results thrown out of court. Just because you or your loved one was arrested for drunk driving does not mean that you have to be convicted. A DUI can result in jail time, loss of driver's license, fines, penalties, fees, alcohol education school, and a criminal record. Don't put everything at risk.
Many of the attorneys at Lawson and Berry have taken the same DUI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing as Georgia police officers, so we know what to look for when fighting these test results. You can call our office 24/7, so give us a call today so we can beat your DUI charges.