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If I Have Been Arrested for a DUI, Do I Have to Do a Sobriety Test?

Published on January 15th, 2020

DUI accusations are very serious. A huge amount of confusion surrounding them relates to the sobriety test. When are you allowed to decline the sobriety test and when are you legally obligated to take it? If you are arrested, do you have to take a sobriety test? What if you are arrested for something unrelated to driving under the influence of alcohol? This guide will answer all these questions, allowing you to be more confident if you ever find yourself in this kind of situation.

When You Are Under Arrest
If you have been arrested, then you do not have the option to decline a sobriety test. This is true regardless of what the reason for your arrest is. Ordinarily, you have the option to decline a sobriety test, and it is generally recommended that you do. A sobriety test is subjective, which means that the officer who issues it needs to interpret the results. Likewise, a sobriety test cannot prove your innocence, even though it can act as proof of your guilt. 

For these reasons, it is usually a good idea to decline any sobriety test that you can. If you decide to decline a sobriety test, however, make sure you do it respectfully. The last thing you want is for the police officers to have a reason to dislike you. However, if you are already under arrest, then this is not an option.

Other Reasons
There are two other reasons why you might not be allowed to decline a sobriety test. First, if you are under the legal drinking age, then you must submit to any sobriety test requested of you. Second, if you are on probation for a previous DUI, then you also do not have the option to decline the test. If you fall into any of these situations, you should take the sobriety test immediately without arguing or resisting in any way.

Your State
As one final note, you need to know your state laws intimately. The laws vary from one state to the next, and there may be a law in your state specifically that requires you to take a sobriety test. It is a good idea to do your own research to figure out if this is the case for your state. The easiest way to get this information, however, is to speak with a DUI attorney in Washington, DC who works in your home state. This will provide you with all the information you need.

Thanks to ​The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. for their insight into criminal law and your constitutional rights.

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