Can I refuse a field sobriety test?

On Behalf of | Sep 12, 2022 | blog, Drunk Driving

Motorists suffer from many misconceptions about their rights when they get pulled over on suspicion of a DUI. To better understand your options, you need to separate between field sobriety tests and chemical tests.

Minnesota drivers need to know what they can and cannot refuse during a traffic stop. See below to learn more about your rights as a motorist so you do not make a grave mistake.

Refusing a chemical test

Technically, you have the right to refuse a breath or other chemical test. However, automatically impose specific penalties if you do so. According to Minnesota Statutes, police officers may not administer a chemical test if a person does not wish to take one. The exception is for incidences of vehicular homicide or injury. The penalty for refusing to take a chemical test is a license suspension of at least one year. Penalties increase with prior incidents within the past ten years. Keep this in mind before you refuse to take a chemical test.

Refusing a field sobriety test

Field sobriety tests are not the same as chemical tests. They are a method devised by the police to increase the likelihood of a conviction. You have almost no benefit from submitting to a field sobriety test. Even if you pass the test, the police still have the option to give you a breath test. For most people, the best choice is to refuse the field sobriety test and go to the police station for a chemical test.

Drunk driving is a serious conviction that might affect your life for years. Understand what you have the right to refuse. You never know what might swing the case in your favor.