In the United States, an American citizen can refuse to take just about any kind of test that the police ask them to take. But if you think that refusing to take a field sobriety test is a good idea or the end of the conversation, then you are sadly mistaken. Each state has a different way of handling people who refuse a field sobriety test, and in New York State your chances of refusing to take a test and driving away free and clear are very small.
What Is A Field Sobriety Test?
In New York State, when a police officer pulls you over and suspects that you are intoxicated or in some way impaired behind the wheel, they will ask you to exit the vehicle and take a field sobriety test. The test is a series of activities designed to check your coordination and see if you are able to perform tasks that should be simple if you are not impaired. If you fail the field sobriety test, then the officer will usually ask you to take a Breathalyzer test.
Am I Legally Obligated To Agree To Taking Any Form Of Sobriety Test?
Any motorist in the state of New York can legally decline to take a field sobriety or Breathalyzer test. It is important to note that the officer who pulls you over will always ask you to take the test. During the first contact with an officer, a driver will never be told that they have to take a field sobriety test.
What If I Refuse A Field Sobriety Test?
A field sobriety test is not mandatory and refusal to take the field sobriety test cannot be used as a reason to arrest or detain you. In theory, you can refuse to take a field sobriety test and there is not much the officer can do to force the issue. However, while the field sobriety test might be refused, you will not be able to refuse a Breathalyzer test.
If you refuse the field sobriety test, the officer will usually move to the next test which is a preliminary alcohol screening test. This is a small device you blow into to get an initial reading on the alcohol content in your body. You may also legally refuse this test as well. However, you may not refuse to take a Breathalyzer test.
Refusing To Take A Breathalyzer Test
If you refuse to take a Breathalyzer test, the officer will get a field warrant (in a matter of minutes) that will force you to take the test. If, at that point, you refuse to take the Breathalyzer test, then you can be arrested.
If you are pulled over and fail a field sobriety test, then your next step should be to call a Staten Island lawyer. You will be arrested and you will need the kind of criminal defense attorney Staten Island people trust for those situations. Always look for a Staten Island lawyer who is experienced in DWI cases to represent you in this difficult time.