Field Sobriety Test

Drunk Driving & DWI conviction

PBT or Breathalyzer: Should You Refuse A Cop’s Request To Do The Field Sobriety Test

If a police were to pull you over today, would you know what your rights were? The reality is that most people have no clue what their rights are when they’re pulled over. If you’re pulled over for drinking and driving, it’s important to know what rights you have if you refuse to do the field sobriety tests and how you need to interact with the police.

Do The Field Sobriety Tests Help or Hinder You: A Look At The Portable Breath Test and Breathalyzer

If police pull you over for possibly being intoxicated, their goal is prove that they had probable cause to stop you. Unless it’s apparent that the driver is drunk (usually by their reckless driving or by weaving), the easiest way they’ll make this determination that will lead to your arrest is the field sobriety test. One part of this test is called the portable breath test.

Portable Breath Test

You have the right to refuse the portable breath test (PBT). It’s usually the first of two probable breath checks. Refusal to take the test does not negatively affect you. However, if you haven’t been drinking, taking the test could get rid of the probable cause and you’ll be set free. In many areas, the PBT along with the other parts field sobriety tests can be used to justify their probable cause and arrest but not in a court of law. However, each state varies when it comes to using the field sobriety test and you should learn what your state law says in handling field sobriety tests.


If the initial test given does not proof either way of your intoxication and based on how you do for the other field sobriety tests, you could still be detained on suspicion of drinking and driving. If this happens, you’ll be taken to the police station and instructed to do a second breath test, which is called a Breathalyzer. The Breathalyzer results can be used in court. It’s not uncommon for police to ask for a blood or urine test to determine your guilt or innocence as well.

If you decline this test, it can impact you in a negative way. States have an implied consent law, which means, when you obtain a license, you must take the chemical BAC test if you’re pulled over and arrested. If you decide to refuse to take the test, your license is immediately suspended. First time DUI charges tend to result in license suspension of a few months to a year or more. Before you refuse to take this test, be sure to think about it hard. It’s inevitable that refusing to take it will mean your license is suspended, but not passing it, doesn’t mean you get indicted.


Check out Police pull over and how you can react

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