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Why may drivers need to perform field sobriety tests?

On Behalf of | Dec 12, 2022 | Drunk Driving

When Georgia’s highway patrol officers have reasonable grounds to believe that a motorist they pulled over has recently consumed alcohol, they may request field sobriety tests. Because of the Peach State’s laws, you may face a charge for driving under the influence by not complying.

As noted by the National Motorists Association, officers may stop vehicles for minor violations such as tinted windows or broken headlights and not know that a driver consumed alcohol. According to the NMA, motorists generally cannot drive more than one or two miles before breaking some type of traffic rule.

How do officers determine which drivers should perform sobriety tests?

Traffic officers may pull drivers over for violating traffic laws more frequently during “happy” hours, holidays or events such as concerts. If you broke a routine traffic law, an officer may stop your vehicle to issue you a ticket.

Based on your interactions or your appearance, the officer may suspect that impairment played a role in the violation. With probable cause to believe you consumed alcohol, the officer could request a field sobriety test, which may include reciting the alphabet backward or walking in a straight line.

What could occur if I fail to comply with an officer’s request to perform a field sobriety test?

Refusing to perform a field sobriety test could result in an arrest and a DUI charge. A driver’s refusal may also lead to prosecutors claiming that an individual’s blood alcohol content level exceeded the legally allowable limit.

The consequences of a DUI conviction could become life-altering. A strong defense and the details of the traffic stop could, however, counter a prosecutor’s claims.