Skip to Content

Can I Refuse To Take The Field Sobriety Tests?


In California, “implied consent” pertains to the required participation in a blood, breath or urine test in order to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC) level. Refusing this test will automatically lead to the suspension of your driver’s license for one year. However, if you are asked to perform one or a series of field sobriety tests (FSTs), you are able to refuse. So why is that the case?

The truth is, FSTs are standardized tests utilized by law enforcement to gather information about your level of impairment and evidence of a crime. Whether you pass or fail depend on the arresting officer’s personal opinion, making these tests significantly subjective since there isn’t a universal, measurable scale to prove a person’s condition. In addition, these tests can be difficult to perform for those who are overweight, over the age of 65, and have a back or leg injury.

Keep in mind that if you do refuse to participate in an FST, the officer may consider you are hiding something and continue to detain you until he has validated his probable cause. If the officer asks you to perform a blood, breath or urine test, you have no choice but to participate.

Contact our firm today for more information about DUI or to schedule an appointment.