Are field sobriety tests mandatory in California? 11 Answers as of February 12, 2011

Is it true that field sobriety tests are not mandatory in California? If I say no, what happens?

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Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
You do not have to take a field sobriety test if stopped by an officer for possible DUI. If you don't take them they will merely argue that you were afraid to do so because you knew you were drunk. So if you don't take them prepare to have a good reason why.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/12/2011
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
You are not obligated to take the preliminary alcohol screening at the scene and the police ave an obligation to so advise you. However if the police have probable cause to believe you are " under the influence " they may require you to take a blood or breath test. You may refuse but this results in loss of license for a year.

Our law firm is very experienced in these matters. If you have further questions or wish to retain counsel, call us.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/10/2010
Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
No they are not mandatory in California if you have been stopped for a DUI. The only mandatory test is a blood alcohol test if you have been lawfully arrested.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/10/2010
The English Law Firm
The English Law Firm | Robert English
No. However be prepared to be arrested and taken to the station for an implied consent breath or blood test.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/9/2010
Law Offices of Phil Hache
Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
Field Sobriety tests are Not mandatory in California. More times than not, if you refuse to do them, the cop will arrest you. At that point, if he asks you to do a breath or blood test, then there is an implied consent law in California, and a refusal to submit would bring potential consequences. Of course, these consequences can be argued in court, and potentially won on.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/9/2010
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    If you say no your CA license will be suspended.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/9/2010
    Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law
    Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law | Alanna D. Coopersmith
    You do not have to take field sobriety tests. You can say you do not want to take them. However, as a condition of having a driver's license, you've consent to take a chemical test (a breath test or blood test) if requested by an officer. If you refuse to take a chemical test, your license will be suspended for a year.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/9/2010
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Unless you are on probation for a prior DUI or under 21, FSTs are completely optional, and you should NEVER do them, because they are designed for you to fail. FSTs is simply a method for the police to gather evidence against you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/9/2010
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
    You are not required to take any of the filed sobriety tests in California including the preliminary alcohol screening test (PAS). The only exception to this if you are under 21 you are required to take the PAS test. Failure to take the FSTs may lead to an arrest but taking the tests will guarantee that you will be arrested for a DUI.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/9/2010
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Mandatory on whom? No, the police do not have to use them; you can be arrested and convicted for DUI without one. And, no, you do not have to submit to them when requested. Refusal just hastens your arrest, and gets you an uncooperative drunk driver police report. In addition, a refusal to submit to a blood alcohol test results in automatic suspension of your license for a year, by the DMV, in addition to any suspension imposed by the court upon plea or conviction.

    Now, if you have been arrested for DUI, and are serious about getting counsel, feel free to contact me. Ill be happy to help you use whatever defenses you may have. If you can't afford private counsel, apply for the Public Defender.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/9/2010
    The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann
    The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann | Christopher J. McCann
    Generally the answer is "no", they are not mandatory. There is no punishment for refusing them. In general, you should REFUSE them; however there are a couple of exceptions. Firstly, the portable breath machine used at the scene PRIOR to arrest, also referred to as a "PAS" device (Preliminary Alcohol Screening device) is ALSO considered a field sobriety test and is NOT mandatory. However, if you are under 21, or on probation for DUI, you cannot refuse to do a PAS test and you SHOULD do it then. The failure to do so can be punished worse than a DUI in some cases. Contact an attorney who is experienced in handling DUI cases such as myself for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/9/2010
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