Kerley & Talken PC
free consultation
Our office remains open at this time. Consultations are available via telephone or Face-Time. In-person consultations are available on a case-by-case basis. The safety of our clients and employees is of the utmost importance.
View Blog Navigation

Field sobriety testing -- do I have to comply?

Imagine this. You are driving home from a night on the town when, all of a sudden, an Illinois police officer is pulling you over. After a quick talk with the officer, he or she asks you to participate in field sobriety testing. What exactly does that mean, and do you have to comply?

Whether you choose to comply is up to you. Yes, you can refuse. Not many people know that. However, there are consequences for doing so. You have to weigh the pros and cons and do what you think is best for you.

The standard field sobriety tests

There are three standard field sobriety tests used by law enforcement officers in Illinois. They are:

  • The walk and turn
  • The one-leg stand
  • The horizontal gaze nystagmus

The first two on the list, the walk and turn and the one-leg stand, are to check your ability to balance, pay attention and follow directions. The last one on the list, the HGN, is to check your eyes for signs of impairment. Failure to complete the tests as ordered may result in your arrest and a DUI charge.

Chemical testing

Along with the physical tests are the chemical sobriety tests. The two generally used are breath testing and blood testing. Breath test administration can happen roadside or at a police station, while blood tests typically occur at a hospital. You may refuse both forms of chemical testing. However, if police obtain a warrant, then you have to comply.

If you refuse

The consequences of refusing include arrest and the temporary loss of driving privileges. Both of these things can negatively impact your life in a number of ways. However, with the right assistance, you can have your license restored as quickly as possible, and you can take steps to fight the criminal charges filed against you.

Do what you feel is best

Refusing is by no means admitting guilt. It is just you exercising your right to say no.

Unless police have a warrant for sobriety testing, they cannot force you to comply. If you do choose to participate in testing, know that you run the risk of failing, and prosecuting attorneys can use those test results against you in court. These tests are not 100% accurate. False positives happen more often than you might think, but proving that test results are flawed can be an uphill battle. Regardless of whether you refuse or comply, you can get through criminal and administrative hearings with help, achieving the best possible outcome.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Schedule A Consultation Today

Contact Us For A Free Consultation To discuss your legal matter with an attorney at our firm, call 217-814-0148 or complete the contact form below.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Kerley & Talken PC
431 S. Grand Ave West
Springfield, IL 62704

Phone: 217-814-0148
Fax: 217-523-0009
Map & Directions

Map Image