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Marsha411JD
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Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Licensed attorney with 29 yrs. exp. in criminal law
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I got into an accident. I had been drinking prior to it. Police

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I got into an accident. I had been drinking prior to it. Police came to investigate the accident. Cop said he smelled alcohol on me and then had me do the field sobriety tests. Based on the accident and the smell of alcohol, is that enough to get me to do the tests?
Hello,

Thank you for the information and your question. Yes, the fact that you had an accident and smelled of alcohol would lead the officer to suspect that you were driving under the influence or impaired and therefore the field sobriety tests would be a part of the investigation and completely legal. If he hadn't smelled alcohol, then unless you indicated that you had been drinking there would be no reasonable suspicion of impaired or drunk driving and the field sobriety test would not be appropriate or legal.

That said, a person has the right to refuse a field sobriety test without direct consequence. In other words, your driver's license cannot be suspended for refusing that test and you can't be charged for not consenting.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
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