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Can I Refuse a Field Sobriety Test?


Evan R. Rowe

There are multiple types of field sobriety tests used by North Carolina Law Enforcement in order to determine the sobriety or level of potential alcohol impairment of a driver. In North Carolina, a charge and/or conviction of a DUI/DWI is extremely serious and can result in severe consequences such as the loss of your drivers’ license or even imprisonment.

If you are pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or another impairing substance, it is important to know your rights. You are NOT required by law to submit to any field sobriety tests. In addition, you should know that you are not required to take what is known as a preliminary breath test.

What should I do if I am pulled over and suspected of DUI/DWI?

If you are pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence, the first thing that you should do is to remain calm and be polite. In order to be arrested for DUI/DWI, an officer must first have probable cause. This means that the officer must have at least some type of reason or evidence to suspect that you are likely driving under the influence of some type of impairing substance. Even though you can refuse to adhere to a preliminary breath test, as well as participate in any form of field sobriety tests that the officer may ask you to take, you should know that an officer may still be able to develop probable cause to arrest you through other evidence such as his or her own observations of your behavior and appearance, any statements that you may have made to the officer, or the presence of an odor of alcohol on your breath.

If you have been charged with DUI/DWI, it is imperative to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you through your situation. At King & Rowe, PLLC, our criminal defense attorneys are knowledgeable in North Carolina DUI/DWI law and will be able to answer all of your questions and guide you through the court process. Please reach out to us at King & Rowe, PLLC at (828) 466-3858 and allow us to assist you.

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