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Can I Refuse A Sobriety Test In Mississippi?

Posted on : October 14, 2019, By:  J Brian Kelley

Refusing A Field Sobriety Test: What You Need To Know

When law enforcement pulls up behind your vehicle, even on a sunny Sunday afternoon, it can be unsettling. Needless to say, it may be cause for concern if you have recently been imbibing and made the mistake of getting behind the wheel.  While most of us prefer to transport ourselves to and from events and locations, there are occasions on which it is best to sit in the passenger seat. Nevertheless, mistakes do happen and it is best to be prepared in the event that you get pulled over in Starkville.

Implied Consent In Oktibbeha County

An Oktibbeha County Drivers License comes with the mandatory requirement that you submit to a sobriety test provided that you have been lawfully placed under arrest. The latter is referred to as “implied consent” not only in Oktibbeha but in the entire state of Mississippi.  When your Mississippi Driver’s License was issued you had already given consent that, should you be stopped by law enforcement under the suspicion of Driving Under the Influence and lawfully arrested, you would cooperate with any field sobriety, chemical or blood testing requested of you. This will allow officers to determine the extent of your impairment and blood and alcohol levels.

Suspicion Of Driving Under The Influence

There is a timeline that law enforcement must comply with prior to administering chemical tests and they must have probable cause in order to do so.  Law enforcement is extensively trained in Mississippi and the initial field testing may be at the discretion of the officer.  The officer may initially proceed with Standardized Field Sobriety Testing, which includes a variety of field tests prior to breath, chemical, blood or urine testing.

Basic overview of the three initial tests included:

  • HGN Testing that allows the officer to inspect the driver’s gaze. The officer will take note of your eyes as you follow his instructions using either a small flashlight or a pen. 
  • Walking and Turning test which will allow the officer to observe whether or not you can follow instructions, whether you stumble or stay on balance along with other indicators.
  • The One Leg Stand which again allows the officer to check for balance, wobbles and whether or not you can count as you hold the position.

Refusing Any Testing

While anyone operating a vehicle in the state of Mississippi is duly required to comply with sobriety testing, it is your right to refuse.  Refusing to cooperate with field sobriety tests or further chemical, blood or urine testing is considered a very serious offense and will have swift and immediate consequences, primarily, your license will be suspended.

Get Immediate Help With Your DUI Charges

It is important that you get ahead of your DUI Charges in Mississippi in order to protect yourself.  Contact an experienced DUI Attorney as soon as possible to begin building your defense.

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