Field Sobriety Tests

Should you refuse or consent to field sobriety tests if you are stopped by the CHP under suspicion of driving under the influence? There is no simple answer and it depends on the circumstances. If you are stopped in San Mateo, call The Law Offices of Michael L. Davidson in San Mateo at 650-573-8000 to discuss how to proceed if you are stopped.

Refusing Sobriety Tests, Yes or No?

We have all seen the tests that the CHP performs as part of their battery of field sobriety tests. There is walking the line, heal to toe, and balance testing. The question of whether you volunteer to take them is up to you. We would recommend that if you are intoxicated, it is best to refuse them. If you are not intoxicated, taking the field sobriety test might be the quickest resolution to the situation.

If you politely refuse the field sobriety tests there are both benefits and risks. The police have no evidence of drunken behavior, but the prosecutor has the right to argue that the reason you refused was because you were intoxicated. It is similar to running from the scene of the crime–there is a presumption of guilt.

As for field breath tests and preliminary alcohol screening, it is best to refuse them under most circumstances. The exception is if the breathalyzer is an E-pass machine. Because it functions in court as an evidencing breath test, refusal in this instance will cost you your license. In other cases, the arresting officer has a duty to advise you that the field breath test is not an official test, and you have the right to refuse it although they often overlook this duty.

Contact Our DUI Defense Lawyers About Field Sobriety Today!

Our DUI attorneys proudly represent clients throughout the entire Bay Area including these cities on the Peninsula:

  • San Mateo
  • Redwood City
  • Foster City
  • San Bruno
  • South San Francisco
  • Palo Alto
  • Burlingame

If you are stopped for DUI in the Greater Bay Area, call The Law Offices of Michael L. Davidson at 650-573-8000 to talk to an attorney before consenting to any field sobriety test.

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The Law Offices of Michael L. Davidson
411 Borel Avenue
San Mateo, CA 94402

Phone: 650-573-8000
Fax: 650-345-9875
San Mateo Law Office