What happens if I refuse to participate in the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST’s)?

When an individual, behind the wheel of a vehicle, catches law enforcement’s attention for suspicion of DUI, law enforcement begins to take note of all the little pieces of evidence that would infer DUI. All these pieces of evidence will subsequently help increase the odds that the State is able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual is DUI. The SFST’s are a huge asset to the State in meeting this goal. The SFST’s, however, are completely voluntary. In all reality, if an individual finds him/herself in a position where an officer is requesting participation in these tests, chances are the officer has his mind already made up that you will be arrested for DUI. Ultimately, consenting to participate in the SFST’s is just helping the State make its case. Although, should an individual refuse to participate in the SFST’s the individual will not be subject to any overt consequences. The officer will proceed with his investigation; which usually results in an arrest. Really, the only risk in not participating in the SFST’s is that should the case proceed to trial, the State will likely try and introduce the individual’s refusal in an effort to demonstrate that the individual knew they were going to fail.