In Massachusetts, if you are caught drinking and driving, most people know that you have the right to refuse a breathalyzer test, which results in an automatic 6 month license suspension. But few know what happens if you refuse other tests going along with an OUI arrest.
Typically, if an officer suspects that you are impaired, he will request that you step out of the car to perform field sobriety tests. These tests include saying your alphabet, counting, standing on 1 foot, and completing a 9 step walk and turn.
Most that are stopped complete these tests because they are not aware of any alternative. An officer does not give you a choice and ask if you want you do the test, however, you do have the ability to refuse.
If you refuse to do the tests (which can be done by saying “I am not going to do that”) the officer will arrest you and take you into custody. You will be brought to the station where you have the right to then refuse the breathalyzer.
How does refusing these test benefit you? If you decide to take the matter to trial, refusing to take the field sobriety tests limits the amount of evidence that the officer can collect against you. It is more likely that you will succeed at trial if you do not submit to the field sobriety and breathalyzer tests, since there is less evidence to prove that you are guilly beyond a reasonable doubt.
If you were arrested for drunk driving, contact us to discuss the options in fighting your case.
THIS BLOG IS WRITTEN BY ATTORNEY KELLY BROADBENT. IT IS NOT MEANT AS LEGAL ADVICE.