Do You HAVE To Take A Field Sobriety Test?

This is Dennis Boren, criminal defense attorney and former felony prosecutor. And today I want to talk to you about whether or not the police can require you to take a field sobriety test if they’re investigating you for DWI, or sometimes DUI.

Hopefully, you’ll never find yourself in this situation. But if you can help someone else by passing this information on to them, that’s good.


The answer to the question above is no, you do not have to take a field sobriety test. They cannot make you take it. Some people can’t take it because they’re physically unable to. The police can observe how you walk or stumble or get out of the car and make those physical observations, but they cannot force you to take a field sobriety test.


And let me just tell you this: when you’re pulled over for investigation of a potential DWI, the magic bullet is to turn on your video camera, or at least your audio app, and tell the officer that you do not want to talk any further with him without your attorney being present.


That will build a massive, impregnable wall as to what they can use against you. That’s unless you say something self-incriminating voluntarily, which means you did it on your own. So be sure to invoke your right to a counsel, to an attorney, and then shut up and quit talking. Now, they can ask you all day, whether or not you’ll take a field sobriety test, but you don’t have to take it.


As always, if you have further questions about this or anything related to it, please reach out to me and I’ll be happy to discuss this with you. And as I said, turn on that video camera on your smartphone. It will protect you, and will keep you from a lot of misery if you’ll just do that, particularly if you invoke your right to counsel.

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