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What should I do if I am asked to take field sobriety tests?

There are a wide range of field sobriety tests (FSTs), including heel-to-toe, finger-to-nose, one-leg stand, horizontal gaze nystagmus, alphabet recitation and others.

Unlike the chemical test, where refusal to submit may have serious consequences, you are not legally required to take any field sobriety tests. In practice, the police have usually already decided to arrest the suspect prior to giving the tests. The tests are simply used as evidence gathering mechanisms. Therefore, in most cases a polite refusal is appropriate. The police will usually tell you to take the field sobriety test but you have the absolute right to refuse. There are no penalties for not taking field sobriety tests and refusing to do so can not be mentioned by the police or prosecutor at trial.

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