Our Team Is At Your Side When Life Changes

Can you refuse a field sobriety test in Georgia?

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2023 | DUI |

You have the right to refuse field sobriety testing during a DUI stop in Georgia.

When police pull you over on suspicion of DUI, they will likely ask you to participate in these tests, but there are reasons to decline.

Use of field sobriety tests

There are three standardized field sobriety tests used in Georgia:

  1. The one-leg stand test requires you to lift one foot six inches off the ground and balance on the other for 30 seconds.
  2. The horizontal gaze nystagmus test entails following an object with your eyes and without turning your head.
  3. The walk-and-turn test involves walking heel-to-toe for nine steps and turning around to repeat the process.

Officers have a level of discretion in scoring these tests, which leaves them open to misinterpretation. For example, certain health conditions could make standing on one leg or walking a straight line difficult, even when the person is completely sober.

What happens if you refuse

Refusing to submit to field sobriety testing will not result in the suspension of your license. Unless the stop occurs at a sobriety checkpoint, the police must have reasonable cause to pull you over. They often use field sobriety tests to establish probable cause. Because Georgia is an implied consent state, they will likely still ask you to take a chemical test. Refusal can result in an arrest and the suspension of your license for a year.

The best course of action is to politely decline field sobriety testing and comply if the police arrest you. Remember, a DUI charge is not an automatic conviction, and you will still have a court date.