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Truth About Field Sobriety Tests

South Carolina DUI Lawyers

Can I be Arrested for Failing an FST?

Field sobriety tests (FSTs) were created to help law enforcement gauge the relative sobriety or intoxication of a driver, and cannot be used to determine blood alcohol level. However, a police officer who has pulled a suspicious motorist or who is working a sobriety checkpoint can request a battery of field sobriety tests in determining probable cause of an arrest and the use of an evidentiary alcohol test.

If you’ve been arrested and charged with a DUI based on your performance during a field sobriety test that led to the accumulation of additional evidence against you, contact us for a no-cost, immediate case consultation (call or use the form at the top right). During our initial consultation, we’ll help you to determine if you should plead guilty or not guilty to your charge. Learn more about our DUI defense.

The Right to Refuse an FST
The motorist has the right to refuse participation in roadside sobriety tests. Declining to take a roadside test does not carry the same consequences as refusing to take a breathalyzer, though the motorist may be arrested on suspicion of DUI for refusing an FST. That is the police officer’s discretion.

What Happens in Roadside Sobriety Test?

  • Field sobriety tests, like other aspects of a DUI arrest, must be videotaped. Law enforcement is tasked with providing evidence of driving impairment in the conviction of a DUI. The videotape serves as a witness for both parties. NOTE: In the event of an accident where EMTs arrive first, an officer may not be able to properly videotape the scene, in which case, human witnesses will be used to corroborate testimony for either party.
By: South Carolina DUI Lawyer Pete Strom



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