What You Should Know About Field Sobriety Testing And Refusals
Being pulled over by the police can be a stressful experience. You may be asked to comply with a variety of field sobriety tests to determine if you are intoxicated. Due to the Ohio implied consent law, you are obligated to comply with directions from the police when it comes to taking field sobriety tests as well as chemical tests (breath, blood or urine). Refusing to take these tests can result in serious consequences.
If you have been pulled over, arrested and charged with operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI), we can help. At Ernst & Associates, LLC, we use over 25 years of criminal defense experience to aggressively defend our clients in all types of criminal cases, including drunk driving and OVI. It is important to talk to us as soon as possible after your arrest to ensure that we can begin protecting your rights as soon as possible.
What Happens When You Refuse Field Testing
If you refuse the requested field sobriety or chemical tests, you will be read a warning explaining the consequences to your driving privileges. This includes an Administrative License Suspension (ALS), which allows the officer to take away your license on the spot; the suspension of a class C driver’s license for one year; and any other penalties associated with the OVI.
Each additional refusal within a six-year period following a prior OVI conviction leads to progressively more severe penalties. People who hold commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) typically have their licenses suspended for at least one year if they refuse testing. A second refusal to submit to testing can lead to permanent disqualification from holding a commercial driver’s license.
Ways Of Challenging A License Suspension
If your driver’s license has been suspended, there are several ways of challenging the suspension, which must be done at your first court appearance within five days of the initial arrest. Some of the challenges include:
- Arguing whether the arrest was reasonable or lawful
- Challenging whether the arresting officer actually requested a test
- Disputing whether the arresting officer informed you of the consequences of refusing the field sobriety test or other tests
- Disputing the results of the tests, regardless of whether you actually failed
You can also file a petition for limited driving privileges after being charged with an OVI. However, you only have 30 days from your initial court appearance to file this type of petition. This will allow you to drive to work, school, doctor appointments and other locations that are stipulated. If you end up being convicted of the OVI, you will not be eligible for these limited privileges for three years after your conviction.