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What happens when a driver refuses a sobriety test?

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2018 | Field Sobriety Tests |

Uncertainty and doubt surrounding the work ethic of law enforcement officers across the nation not only applies to officers’ use of force, but to the use of field sobriety tests. Some drivers feel they have been treated unfairly when pulled over, and others even claim the need for the tests were unfounded altogether. While drunk driving laws exist to keep everyone safe, many Arkansas drivers express confusion when it comes to these complex and intimidating tests.

One article from KATV News weighs in on Arkansas’ laws surrounding drivers’ rights when pulled over. According to the article, knowing one’s rights when stopped by an officer can make all the difference in regard to a person’s line of defense. No matter the reason, KATV stresses the importance of remain calm, encouraging readers to always provide necessary information; however, it may be best to wait until an officer requests these documents to avoid suspicion. Drivers have the right to continue driving until they find a safe place to stop, as well. As for field sobriety tests, KATV points out that it is a driver’s right to refuse such tests when requested.

It may be a driver’s right to refuse a sobriety test, but what are the consequences for doing so? Findlaw explains that even with this right, an officer may still arrest a driver for driving while under the influence. Field sobriety tests generally fall into three categories: horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN), one-leg stand (OLS) and walk-and-turn (WAT). A driver may refuse to take these tests even when an officer asks repeatedly. While this may make a driver look suspicious in the eyes of the law, he or she has the right to take legal action, if necessary.