Can I choose which sobriety to take? 60 Answers as of July 02, 2013

If I got pulled over, can I choose which test to take or can the police force me to do every test?

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Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
I'd recommend you retain a lawyer to help you or you ask the court for legal counsel.You have a right to counsel. Don't be afraid to exercise that right. Generally speaking, the police cannot force you to take a test against your will without a court-order; however, the tests could also be exculpatory evidence if you pass them, so there are always risks. Further, refusing to take certain tests could result in administrative sanctions against your license in certain situations as well.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/21/2012
Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
The police get to choose the test they prefer. You can request a test of your own as well, but you must be able and willing to pay for it if there is a cost. It must be done at around the same time period as the one done by the police in order to be comparable.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 3/26/2012
Palumbo and Kosofsky
Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
You do not have to do the field sobriety tests you can refuse.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 3/26/2012
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
You can pick and choose but any refusal is a refusal, so always refuse all test. Filed Sobriety Tests (FSTs) are subjectively graded by the cop that pulled you over. He/she asked you to perform the tests because he/she plans to arrest you. Keep that in mind, the cop is not about to stand on the side of the road and waste his/her time on you unless they think they are going to arrest you. Do they sometimes administer an FST and let the person go - yes, but the statistics are not in your favor. 90+% of the time if an FSt is requested, someone is getting arrested. Now think about this from a practical point of view: 6 jurors are watching you on a video tape, you don't slur your speech (good) and you do the one leg stand pretty well, but you are not so steady on the walk&turn. The cop gets up there and says your speech was "slightly slurred" you stumbled and gave clues (only he could see) on the one leg stand and the walk&turn and most importantly, you failed all 6 clues on the eye nystagmus test (this is the one the jurors can see the cop's hands, not your eyes) and the cop is the only person who could see and tells the jurors what he saw - his opinion of what he saw anyway. Will you be convicted on these facts? I don't know, there are other factors, and it has been said jury trials are won on void dire (jury selection). The cops attitude, etc. all come into play too, but the point is, you pick and choose tests, you guarantee the cop will say you failed the test you did take and the proof is in the fact you refused others.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 3/26/2012
Correia-Champa & Mailhot
Correia-Champa & Mailhot | Susan Correia Champa
You cannot request which test you would like to take. However, if you have any specific medical conditions that could affect your ability to perform certain tests I would inform the police officer prior to taking the test.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 3/26/2012
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    If you drive a motor vehicle the implied consent law says you are deemed to have consented to take an alcohol test if the police have lawfully arrested you on probable cause and believe that you are under the influence or your level is .08 or above. This does not apply to the PAS (preliminary alcohol screening test) given by officer in the field only to the test at the jail or other facility to which you are taken after being arrested. At the station or jail you can choose either a breath or blood test of both.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/26/2012
    Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC
    Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC | Thomas A. Medford, Jr.
    Yes you have a choose of a breath test, urine test or blood test. Most people pick the breath test.
    Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
    Replied: 3/26/2012
    Bensmochan & Poghosyan, LLP
    Bensmochan & Poghosyan, LLP | Ruzanna Poghosyan
    You can refuse to take the Field Sobriety Test (FST), including the Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test if you are over 21, completely but you cannot pick and choose. Remember, however, that you CANNOT refuse a chemical test, which is breath, blood or urine test *after arrest* and you CAN choose between breath and blood tests if suspected of DUI of alcohol.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/26/2012
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    Absolutely, but best not to take any of them. The tests are designed for failure.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 3/26/2012
    Anderson Law Office
    Anderson Law Office | Scott L. Anderson
    The police have the right to choose the test and you have a right to have a second test performed, at your expense, if you make the request of the officer after you have submitted to the test the officer requested you take.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 3/26/2012
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    You don't have to take any.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/26/2012
    The Short Law Group, P.C.
    The Short Law Group, P.C. | Shawn Kollie
    In Oregon, the officer who stops you will decide which Standardized Field Sobriety Test he or she will require you to provide. Typically these include the Horizontal Gaze, Walk and Turn, and One Leg Stand. You do not have to consent to any SFST, but your refusal can be used against you in court.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 3/26/2012
    Law Office of Brian K. Wanerman
    Law Office of Brian K. Wanerman | Brian K. Wanerman
    You can refuse a breath test. But, if arrested, you cannot refuse a blood test. Your license may be automatically suspended if you refuse a breath test and your insurance may drastically increase or be cancelled.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/26/2012
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    You have to do their preliminary tests and the breath test but you can then demand to be taken to a hospital to have your blood drawn. A blood test is the most accurate. If you do not take the preliminry tests you can have your license suspended for just that.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/26/2012
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    Roadside tests are not mandatory, but, if you refuse to perform those tests, the officer has probable cause to place you under arrest and demand a test to determine your blood alcohol or drug concentration. If the officer has probable cause to arrest, demands a blood, breath or urine test, and you refuse to submit to this testing, you will be charged with "refusal" which is a separate criminal violation which is often easier to prove and can carry more serious penalties than the DUI itself.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 3/26/2012
    Germaine & Blaszka, P.A.
    Germaine & Blaszka, P.A. | Donald L. Blaszka, Jr.
    You cannot choose which field sobriety test you can take but the police cannot force you to take any field sobriety test in New Hampshire.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 3/26/2012
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    You cannot choose which test you take, but you can choose whether or not to take any tests whatsoever. The police will not make it sound as if you have a choice, but if you listen carefully, you do. They typically will ask in a forceful manner, "Would you mind exiting the vehicle to perform some field sobriety tests for me." It is a question even though they will make it sound like a demand. A wise man once told me to "never take any test in life that I could not pass." It was wonderful advice and I pass it along here to you. Unless you are absolutely sure that you can pass these test(s), refuse to take them. You may get arrested anyways, but without the evidence of your inability to pass, a good defense attorney should be able to get you acquitted if you are not too impaired.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 3/26/2012
    Robert Mortland
    Robert Mortland | Law Office of Robert Mortland
    You can deny every test except the alcohol screening at the station or the blood test. You do not have to submit to the FST's or the PAS. However, you must do one of the alcohol tests (breath or blood).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/26/2012
    Grantland, Blodgett, Shaw & Abel
    Grantland, Blodgett, Shaw & Abel | Gregory M. Abel
    You can refuse to take any or all of the field agility tests.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 3/26/2012
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    No. Field sobriety is in the discretion of the officer. Typically, as procedure directs, you should be given at least 3 field sobriety tests. You do not get to choose.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/26/2012
    Law Offices of Christopher L. Hoglin, P.C.
    Law Offices of Christopher L. Hoglin, P.C. | Christopher L. Hoglin
    If you are stopped and investigated for a DUI, you do NOT have to take any Field Sobriety Tests (FST). However, refusal to take a FST can be used as evidence of a consciousness of guilt of you being under the influence. Under CA Vehicle Code Section 23612 (Implied Consent for Chemical Testing). 23612. (a) (1) (A) A person who drives a motor vehicle is deemed to have given his or her consent to chemical testing of his or her blood or breath for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of his or her blood, if lawfully arrested for an offense allegedly committed in violation of Section 23140, 23152, or 23153. If a blood or breath test, or both, are unavailable, then paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) applies. Refusal to take a chemical test (breath/blood/urine) will result in a 1-year driver's license suspension, and increased punishment in court (usually an increased fine). However, the police are required to notify you of this obligation, and provide you with an option of taking a breath or blood test. If one of the tests is unavailable, and the officer informs you of this, and you refuse to take another test, you may be looking at a refusal allegation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/26/2012
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    Best to take the field sobriety test that the officers recommend. The implied consent law, which you have agreed to abide by as a term and condition of having a driving privilege, requires that you submit to a breathlyzer approved by the State of Alabama and in use at the time. You have a right to refuse any field sobriety test as well as the breathlyzer test. If you refuse the field sobriety test you are certain to take a ride to the docket room and be charged with a DUI. You must be arrested before you are administered the breathlyzer test. You may elect to refuse to take the breathlyzer test but if you do, you are subject to a mandatory 60 day minimum suspension of your driving privileges, wherther you are found guilty of DUI or not.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/26/2012
    Law Office of Gregory Crain | Gregory Crain
    One test their choice.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 7/2/2013
    Russman Law
    Russman Law | Ryan Russman
    The field sobriety tests are voluntary and you can opt not to take them.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 3/26/2012
    Law Office of Patrick E. Donovan, PLLC
    Law Office of Patrick E. Donovan, PLLC | Patrick E. Donovan
    The police get to choose the tests they want you to take. However, the officer cannot force you to do anything. You can politely refuse to submit to any tests, or answer any questions. You do, however, have to provide the officer with your name and license once pulled over.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 3/26/2012
    Dungan, Lady, Kirkpatrick & Dungan PLLC | Michael Dungan
    If you are referring to field sobriety tests (walk a straight line), you can refuse any or all of those. You are not under any obligation to perform field sobriety tests, and there is no penalty of any kind for refusing. If you are referring to the Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) that is given where you are pulled over, you can refuse that as well. Refusing a PBT is a civil infraction, the only penalty for refusal is a fine. If you are referring to the chemical test (breath, blood, urine), you can refuse that also. However, if you refuse the chemical test, your driving privileges will be suspended for 1 year, and the officer will likely get a search warrant to take your blood anyway.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/26/2012
    H. Scott Basham, Attorney at Law, P.C. | H. Scott Basham
    If you do not submit to the sobriety tests the cops want you to do, you can receive a 12 month suspension of your license under the implied consent law. You are, however, entitled to have your own blood, urine, or breath test done at a hospital or doctor's office at your own expense.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/26/2012
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    You do what the cop tells you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/26/2012
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    The sobriety test are voluntary. They can require you to take a breath alcohol pre-test and a blood/breath/or urine test if they believe you are impaired. Failure to take the pre-test or the blood/breath/UA will result in arrest. They may not have sufficient evidence if you fail to take the other sobriety test to require the pre-test.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 3/26/2012
    Larry K. Dunn & Associates | Larry K. Dunn
    If your question relates to field sobriety test versus chemical testing after arrest, you are not required to submit to any tests. If an officer insists that you submit to a roadside breath test, you can be arrested for failing to submit to the breath test. You are not legally required to submit to any physical testing.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 3/26/2012
    Law Offices of James A Bates
    Law Offices of James A Bates | James A Bates
    You do not have to take any of the sobriety tests except for your choice of blood or breath.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/26/2012
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
    You only have to take an evidentiary breath , blood or urine test. You do not have to submit to FST's , unless you have a prior order , or respond to any questions about where you ate, drank , etc.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/26/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    FSTs are designed so they can obtain an easier conviction in court, because nobody ever passes them, sober or not. So, never do them! You have the right not to do them. What most cops do will scare you into doing them, making you feel like he will let you go if you pass. Don't fall for it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/24/2012
    The Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache
    The Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache | Stephanie Arrache
    You do not have to take any of the tests. The officers will then place you under arrest and take you to the station. The benefit to this is that there will be a length of time between your driving and the time of the test which gives your lawyer more room to argue. Plus, there are no other tests to compare, which could also be in your favor.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
    You have the right to refuse all such tests and can also demand a blood test to establish the BAC level of your blood.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You can refuse the roadside alcosensor and the field sobriety tests. You can refuse to answer questions. you can refuse to take the breathalyzer test as well, but then you will lose your license for 6 months and pay a $750 fine. You will probably have to go to trial with a refusal. Drunk driving is like firing a gun at a moving train and hoping that no one gets hit by the bullets. Most DWI arrests occur late at night and the defendant is usually a young man who is coming from a bar and has had 6-8 drinks. Alcoholics tend to drive drunk often and will get 2-4 DWI cases over the years, eventually ending up in jail. You may be offered the option of a blood test and may be able to request one as they are a little less effected by something that can give a false reading.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    T.K. Byrne | Timothy K. Byrne
    You can refuse or comply. Those are the usual choices. Either way you are probably going to be arrested.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Law Offices of Christopher Jackson
    Law Offices of Christopher Jackson | Christopher L. Jackson
    You do not need to take any field sobriety tests - there is no punishment for refusing. The only punishment is if you refuse the breath test.
    Answer Applies to: Kentucky
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Law Office of Robert Sisson | Robert Sisson
    Typically the office can choose the o e he wants u to take, nut you can ask for another alternative test.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 7/2/2013
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    The roadside tests are voluntary so you can refuse to do any or all tests. The chemical test is required and you can choose blood or breath if it is an alcohol (not drug) related case. If you refuse the chemical test the driver license result is way more severe.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Law Office of Daniel K Martin
    Law Office of Daniel K Martin | Daniel K Martin
    You can elect between a breath test or a blood test. There are times when each test has advantages for defendants. You also have the right to chose not to perform field sobriety tests. If you do not do either the breath test or the blood test then you will automatically lose your driver's license for a year.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Law Offices of George Woodworth & Associates
    Law Offices of George Woodworth & Associates | George Woodworth
    You can choose, however, many times cops will say that some tests are not availableespecially the urine test. That's the one you want unless you've used drugs recently.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Law Office of Richard Southard
    Law Office of Richard Southard | Richard C Southard
    No. You do not get to choose.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein
    Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein | Neal L. Weinstein
    YES. And the test to take is NONE. The Field Sobriety tests are all voluntary and you are not required to take any of them If you are pulled over tell the cop that your attorney said you don't have to take them and you are taking his advice and also you can tell him you will not answer any questions without an attorney present. He will tell you that it will be easier on you to cooperate, but this is a lie, as it is you giving him evidence to convict you if you take those test. If arrested, you need to take the breath test or you face a long license suspension. Do not consent to a search of your car or person at any time.
    Answer Applies to: Maine
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Betts Legal Services
    Betts Legal Services | Shawn M. Betts
    You cannot choose what test to take, but the officer cannot force you to take any tests. You have the right to refuse any field sobriety tests, and are only required to take a test at the police station after being arrested.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    As for Field Sobriety Tests, they are optional and voluntary, you need not take any of them. That is unlike the breath test, which you have to take, or you will loose your license... even if you were found innocent of the DUI.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    The testing is completely discretionary with the police officer, be it a breath, blood or urine test, depending on factors within the officer's expert opinion, which means his observations of your condition at the time of the arrest.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady | Kevin O'Grady
    You do not have to do either the eye test, nor the walk and turn nor the one leg stand, nor any other one such as counting backwards. Choose to NOT do any! Then hire an aggressive attorney to fight the arrest and charge.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Can I choose ?? Theoretically, yes. Plus, you only have to do one. A little free advice: When arrested for DUI, whether alcohol or drugs, then upon release from jail or booking the defendant is given documents that include a notice that you have only ten days to file a request with DMV for a hearing on an appeal of an automatic suspension of your license imposed by DMV. That is separate and runs consecutively with any suspension that may be imposed by the court. Contact DMV and do so, timely, then appear at your scheduled DMV appeal hearing and present any supporting evidence and testimony. If you don't know how to do these things effectively, then hire an attorney that does. Of course you can fight the criminal charges. When arrested or charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a test, search or confession be used against you, can you be convicted, and what can you do? Raise all appropriate defenses with whatever witnesses, evidence and sympathies are available for legal arguments, for evidence suppression or other motions, or for trial. If you don't know how to represent yourself effectively against an experienced prosecutor intending to convict, then hire an attorney that does, who will try to get a dismissal, diversion program, charge reduction, or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate. If serious about hiring counsel to help in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. I?ll be happy to help, using whatever defenses there may be.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    McClendon Owens Melia McBreen LLP
    McClendon Owens Melia McBreen LLP | Richard L. McBreen III
    You are never required to do roadside tests, which is why they ask for your consent. Do not consent to take any sobriety tests.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    San Diego DUI Law Center
    San Diego DUI Law Center | Rick Mueller
    You can decline, generally.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    The police officer chooses which field sobriety evaluations, which will be performed. The police chooses breath, blood or urine test to determine blood alcohol content.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    Assuming both are available, you can choose breath or blood. If the breath machine doesn't work, or the cops feel that you may be under the influence of drugs, they can also require you to do a blood test as well.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Jason Overton, Attorney at Law
    Jason Overton, Attorney at Law | Jason Overton
    No, and no. You can't pick and choose your own test to take, and the police can not force you to take a test. You can only choose to take it or not to take it.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    Yes. Can choose not to do all but implied consent. With implied consent can choose blood or breath.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Law Offices of Douglas J. Lindsay
    Law Offices of Douglas J. Lindsay | Douglas J. Lindsay
    You have the right to take a breath, blood or urine test. Blood and urine tests usually have higher alcohol readings than standard breathalyzer results. Most police officers request that you take a breath test.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Andersen Staab PLLC
    Andersen Staab PLLC | F. Dayle Andersen
    The tests performed on the roadside are called Field Sobriety Tests, you have no obligation to do any of the tests on the roadside. You can also refuse to take the breath test, however this will likely result in a license suspension and higher penalties if you are convicted of DUI.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    The Law Offices of Harold L. Wallin | Harold L. Wallin
    You do not have the right to choose your test.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 3/23/2012
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