Can You Decline to Undergo the Field Sobriety Tests in Utah?
Interviewer: Can you refuse a field sobriety test? Are there any consequences if you do?
An App for Smart Phones Is Being Created to Be Used If You Are in a Police Stop That Escalates to a DUI Investigation
Attorney Nebeker: Yes, you can refuse the field sobriety test. I have been in the process of building an app for smart phones. The app was created to be used if you were pulled over and the officer asked you to get out of the car. I realize people are nervous and it’s one in the morning, it’s on the side of the road, but if they could press my app button, and the app basically was a recording that said, “Officer, I don’t agree with the field sobriety test. I don’t think they’re an accurate to determine whether someone’s impaired.”
Basically, the bottom line for the script and the app was I won’t do the field sobriety test; however, I will submit to a chemical test. You can test my breath, blood or urine and I have no problem with that.
Those are what really matter and those are what the officers are really trying to get to. I would certainly, if I found myself in that situation, I would not take the field sobriety test. However, I would make it clear to the officer that I will take the chemical test because I don’t want to get a refusal and all the consequences that go along with that.
There are a few people that do refuse to submit to the field sobriety test. It really helps us as defense attorneys to have a great outcome for their case.
It Is Likely That If the Police Ask You to Exit Your Vehicle, You Are in the Process of Being Arrested
Interviewer: I’m sure people are afraid to refuse because they think they’re going to be arrested. At that point, if you’re out of the car, you’re probably going to be arrested anyway, right?
Attorney Nebeker: More than likely. If the driver has any kind of driving pattern and/or they have the odor of alcohol; the police are going to take the refusal of the field sobriety test probably as a sign of defiance. They may view it as a sign of somebody who may be under the influence. From a defense point of view, it is better if you do not submit to the field sobriety test.