Do I have to do field sobriety tests?

NO. If you are pulled over and an officer suspects you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they will almost surely ask you to step from the vehicle to perform a battery of tests called “Field Sobriety Tests”. Three of these tests are called “Standardized” because they are to be given in a uniform or standard manner to ensure their accuracy. If they are administered correctly, they may provide evidence that you are or are not under the influence.

Unfortunately, very few officers administer these tests as intended and their accuracy is questionable as a result. These tests will give the officer necessary evidence to ultimately request that you submit to a Breath Test. They will also serve as evidence if you are ultimately charged with DWI.

While you do have the right to refuse these tests, but the officers do not have to tell you that. According to New York State caselaw:

“[t]here is no statutory or other requirement for the establishment of rules regulating field sobriety tests,” the police are not required to inform a defendant that he or she has a right to refuse to perform such tests.”

Keep in mind, if you are arrested and charged with DWI, the Police and Prosecutor may argue that your refusal to perform these tests imply that you would have failed them. However a good lawyer will argue there are a variety of reasons why someone would fail these tests including injury or disability.