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Understanding Field Sobriety Tests and Refusal Implications in Georgia: Know Your Rights

On Behalf of | Feb 13, 2024 | Firm News |

Police officer (20s) conducting sobriety test on woman

1. Implied Consent Law: In Georgia, there is an “implied consent” law, which means that by obtaining a driver’s license, you have already given your consent to submit to chemical tests (such as breath, blood, or urine tests) if you are suspected of DUI. However, it’s important to note that this law does not apply to field sobriety tests. Refusing to take FSTs in Georgia does not result in automatic penalties related to your driver’s license.

2. Officer’s Discretion: While you have the right to refuse FSTs in Georgia, it’s essential to understand that law enforcement officers still have the discretion to arrest you based on other evidence or observations. They may consider your refusal as a factor in their decision-making process, potentially leading to an arrest.

3. Limited Admissibility in Court: If you refuse to take field sobriety tests, the prosecution may not be able to present evidence of your performance (or lack thereof) in court. However, it’s important to note that the prosecution can still use other evidence, such as observations of your behavior, driving patterns, and the results of chemical tests, to build their case against you.

4. No Automatic License Suspension: Unlike some states, Georgia does not impose automatic driver’s license suspensions for refusing FSTs. However, if you are subsequently arrested for DUI and refuse to take a chemical test as required by the implied consent law, your license may be suspended for one year. This suspension is separate from any penalties related to your refusal to perform field sobriety tests.


In Georgia, you have the right to refuse field sobriety tests without immediate penalties related to your driver’s license. However, refusal does not guarantee immunity from arrest or other consequences. It’s crucial to consult with a qualified attorney who specializes in DUI cases to understand the specific laws and potential implications of refusing FSTs in Georgia.