Welcome back to the blog! We recently shared some information on how field sobriety tests aren't infallible, and how some that an officer might have you perform aren't even permissible as evidence. Today, we're tackling what happens if you refuse to take the field sobriety test. In New York, many drivers assume that when they're pulled over on suspicion of DUI/DWI they're immediately subject to a field sobriety test because of implied consent. However, you don't need to submit to a field sobriety test, New York's implied consent is for chemical testing for BAC (blood alcohol content) only.
Of course, if you've been pulled over on suspicion of DUI or DWI, your first call should be to an experienced DUI/DWI attorney here in NY.
Can a NY Driver refuse a field sobriety test?
Technically speaking, yes a NY Driver can refuse a field sobriety test. As mentioned up top - you only are mandated to take the BAC test. If a driver refuses to take the test, not too much changes the night of. However, that refusal can be used in a court case against the defendant. Additionally, a prosecutor can use that refusal to argue guilty conscience.
Something to keep in mind though is performing the tests can sometimes be a catch-22 situation. Stone-cold sober people can be nervous and fail some of the tests and the police can use that as evidence too.
One thing to remember when getting pulled over is that the officer is searching for evidence to use in court against you to prove an infraction occurred. The officer wants to get you out of your vehicle to observe your behavior and determine probable cause for an infraction.
If you are stopped by police, be cordial. If you refuse the test, do so politely. Disrespect could come back to haunt you later in a trial. Evidence collected by illegal stops isn't permitted in court, though. That's why you need an expert DUI/DWI attorney on your side and you need to call them as soon as possible.
*Disclaimer: These are generally applicable examples that do not apply to everyone. Each case is unique and according to its own facts. Prior results don't guarantee future success. This post is not legal advice, for that, you need to contact an experienced lawyer.*
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Getting charged with anything is stressful. Here at DuBois Law, we understand, we never judge. If you've been arrested or stopped, your first call should be to an expert DUI defense attorney in New York.
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