Should You Refuse a Field Sobriety Test?

If you are stopped by the police under the suspicion of driving while intoxicated, you will likely be requested to take a couple of tests, including a field sobriety, a breathalyzer, and blood or urine tests. Your initial response might be to refuse these tests, thinking the Fifth Amendment protects your right to self-incrimination. You may also think that without these tests, the police won’t have any evidence of your intoxication, and thus, can never convict you. These are mistakes.

You should remember that your driver’s license comes with a signed agreement stating that you promise to abide by the implied consent laws of your state. Implied consent laws include carrying a driver’s license and proof of insurance at all times while driving, and presenting them to a law enforcer when asked, performing field sobriety tests when requested, and consenting to breath, blood, and urine tests when required. In North Carolina, you may lose your license for at least a year if you refuse to take a test.

Of course, you can still refuse to take any tests if you don’t want to. However, it will be considered a violation, and therefore, will carry penalties. Whether you are convicted of DWI or not, these penalties will be carried out. 

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