The Nelson Law Group

The Crucial Decision: Declining Sobriety Tests in Georgia

By Pierce Blitch

Encountering a DUI checkpoint or being pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving can lead to a critical moment of decision. The choice to submit to field sobriety and preliminary breath tests is yours, and it’s vital to know your rights. The knowledge of how to handle these situations wisely, as well as understanding your rights, is the cornerstone of mounting a robust defense against DUI charges.

Understanding Your Right to Decline Field Sobriety Tests

Officers may request for you to perform subjective field sobriety tests, including balancing on one leg, touching your nose with your eyes closed, or walking in a straight line. Remember, you have the absolute right to refuse these tests. If you have poor balance, have a medical condition which makes it difficult to walk or stand, or have been involved in an accident, refusing these tests might be in your best interest.

However, it’s crucial to understand that refusing field tests does not exempt you from arrest. If the officer still suspects alcohol or drug intoxication, then you may be arrested and taken for an official breathalyzer or blood test.

The Implications of Refusing an Official Breathalyzer or Blood Test

Georgia’s implied consent laws operate on the premise that by driving on state roads, you’ve agreed to undergo chemical tests for drug or alcohol detection in your system. After arrest, the officer must inform you about the implied consent warning, outlining your obligation to undergo testing, the consequences of refusal, and your entitlement to request an independent test. Consent must be sought after the Implied Consent Warning is given.

Should the officer fail in performing these duties, your test results might be deemed inadmissible in court. Similarly, your results may be excluded if your consent to the tests isn’t voluntary.

Refusal to undergo testing has its consequences. Your license will be seized, replaced with a 30-day permit, and you could face a one-year suspension. However, at The Nelson Law Group, we’ve successfully helped many clients avoid this harsh penalty.

Importantly, refusing a test doesn’t automatically lead to a not-guilty verdict. It does, however, make it more challenging for law enforcement and prosecutors to secure a guilty verdict. In the absence of test results, the State must resort to alternative means to prove impairment.

For more insights or if you face DUI charges, don’t hesitate to reach out to The Nelson Law Group for a robust defense strategy.


We fight for you, and we don’t back down. Every criminal charge holds potentially life-altering consequences. We don’t hold back on providing our clients the best possible criminal defense available. Nearly all the attorneys at The Nelson Law Group are former Assistant District Attorneys, so our unique insight on how the prosecution approaches cases equips us with the ability to see the case from all sides. If you, a family member, or a close friend faces criminal charges, contact The Nelson Law Group today at 706-434-8770 or visit us at 7004 Evans Town Center Blvd., Third Floor, Evans, Georgia 30809 to discuss your unique case and our creative defense strategies with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys.

DISCLAIMER: The content on this site is offered solely for informational purposes and might not represent the current law in your jurisdiction. None of the details provided here should be interpreted as legal advice from Fleming & Nelson, LLP or from the individual writer. Additionally, it is not meant to replace professional legal advice. Readers should not base their actions or decisions to abstain from actions solely on the information found in or available through this site. Instead, they should seek tailored legal or other expert counsel regarding their specific situation from an attorney or other professional authorized to practice in the reader’s state, nation, or other relevant licensing area