Field sobriety tests are commonly administered by law enforcement officers during traffic stops. The purpose of these tests is to assess a driver’s level of impairment due to alcohol or drugs.
Sobriety tests are important tools for ensuring road safety and identifying potentially dangerous drivers. However, you should be aware of your rights during these tests to protect yourself and ensure fair treatment.
Your right to refuse field sobriety tests
Be aware that you do have the right to refuse a field sobriety test. These tests are not mandatory, and you cannot receive a penalty solely for refusing to take them. However, refusal may lead to other consequences, such as the officer’s suspicion of impairment.
Rights during the test
If you choose to submit to a field sobriety test, be sure to remember these rights as well:
- The right to request clear and concise instructions from the officer
- The right to ask for accommodations for any physical impairments or conditions
- The right to remain silent and avoid incriminating yourself
If an officer refuses to acknowledge your rights, or if they do not offer probable cause as to why they stopped you in the first place, make note of it for later.
Reports indicate that New Jersey recorded approximately 230 DUI arrests per every 100,000 drivers in 2020. While this makes New Jersey one of the states with the least amount of drunk driving, police remain wary of potential DUI cases. It is always possible that you might face a field sobriety test, so you should know your rights in case you find yourself in that situation.