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Taking the Field Sobriety tests in California: A Choice

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Anders Johnson
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Field Sobriety tests are subjective tests designed to determine if you are impaired to drive a vehicle.  They are subjective because the officer is the one who decides if you pass or not.

The purpose of the tests is to evaluate your motor skills and coordination, as well as your mental attention and ability to process information and instructions.  If the officer asks you to do these tests, can you say "No?"

You have the legal right to refuse to take a field sobriety test, even if the officer does not ask your consent.  At any time, you can simply tell the lawyer that you wish to speak to an attorney first.  You can not be forced to do the tests.

The conventional wisdom of DUI attorneys is that, even if you take the tests, you will fail.  The tests can be failed even when one is completely sober.  They are completely subjective.  In all likelihood, the officer has already decided you are impaired.  Refusing to take the tests may result in your arrest, but the failed tests won't be a part of the record.

Category: General

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