Can you refuse sobriety tests?

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2021 | DUI

If police officers stop you under suspicion of drunk driving, you might feel helpless. Unfortunately, DUI law is one of the areas of criminal justice where case law has eroded your rights to an extensive degree.

In other words, there are serious consequences for drunk driving convictions, as well as for several other actions that you might take. One of those actions is refusing sobriety tests.

Different types of tests

As explained on FindLaw, one of the confusing points is that there are many different types of drunk-driving tests that police might administer to you. For example, there are field sobriety tests, blood tests, breath tests and preliminary alcohol screening tests.

All of this adds up to a complex situation, because each of these procedures could have a different status in terms of your implied consent, different levels of evidentiary quality and so on. That is to say that refusing to attempt to walk in a straight line could have different consequences than refusing to take a Breathalyzer.

Consent and probable cause

Two of the most important legal concepts in your DUI stop would be your implied consent as a Florida driver and the probable cause the police officer has to take action. Implied consent laws mean that, as someone who is operating a motor vehicle on public roadways, you automatically consent to certain types of investigatory procedures, such as alcohol and drug tests. “Probable cause” refers to the material situation that makes it acceptable for an officer to arrest you for DUI.

In short, there are many different possible outcomes if you refuse a breath test. The most likely ones would depend on your unique situation.