Do I have to submit to a field sobriety test in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania’s implied consent law only applies to the official, post-arrest chemical tests. The driver must comply with the post-arrest tests. Refusal may result in consequences. However, the law does not require a driver to submit to a roadside field sobriety test.
Many drivers pulled over by the police do not know that it is their right to refuse to take a field sobriety test. Drivers are often told that a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test is mandatory. That is not the case and refusing to take the test is not illegal.
If pulled over, ask to speak to a lawyer. Once the driver asks to speak to legal counsel, the police must stop all procedures, questioning and the field sobriety test.
The typical field-sobriety-test includes:
- The follow the finger test
- The one-leg stand test
- The walk/turn test
- The finger-to-nose test
- The fingers to thumb test
- The heel-to-toe test
- The recitation of the alphabet test
It is important to note that drivers with a medical condition that affects vision, coordination, hearing and/or balance may have problems with a field sobriety test. Bad weather may also affect test results.