Question: On Friday night I got arrested for DUI in Cobb County. I was coming home from my boyfriend's house and I was stopped for speeding. I didn't think I was drunk because I only had some punch that my boyfriend and his roommate made. They said it didn't have that much booze in it. They said it was mostly fruit juices.
When the Cobb police officer stopped me he said I was going over 100 miles per hour. He said I was weaving. I forgot that I had an open bottle of vodka in the car and that I had a couple of beers in the backseat.
The cop asked me to get out of the car. When I got out I stumbled and he asked me if I was alright. I told him I have a bad back. Then he asked me to do some tests. I was scared that I wouldn't do well on the tests so I said no. I want to know if I made the right decision in not taking the tests the officer wanted me to take. I really didn't want a DUI. What were the tests?
B.C. in Cobb County
Answer: The tests are the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, or SFST's. The Cobb police officer wanted to use the tests to help build a DUI case against you. In many ways, the SFST's are designed to be failed. And they are completely voluntary.
Practically speaking, if an officer is requesting that a driver take the tests, chances are the officer will arrest the driver whether the tests are taken or not. Declining the tests does not have overt consequences. However, should the case proceed to trial, the Cobb prosecutors will likely try and introduce the individual's refusal as evidence the person knew they were going to fail.
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