Once a person has been contacted by law enforcement for a traffic or other moving violation, the officer may suspect that they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The law allows an Omaha officer to request that they perform a series of field sobriety tests or evaluations, but what happens if you refused these field sobriety tests? Can you be arrested or charged for saying no?

Are Sobriety Field Tests Required in Omaha Nebraska?

It can be a terrifying experience to be pulled over, especially if you aren’t sure what the law stipulates. Here’s the essential information to know about sobriety field tests in Omaha, and whether or not they’re required in Nebraska whether you’re staying or just visiting.

What are sobriety field tests in Omaha, NE?

Sobriety field tests are tests conducted by an officer during a situation where they suspect someone has been driving under the influence. These are about 8 different tests that the law enforcement officer may use. Only three sobriety field tests have been certified.

The original certification for these tests occurred when the breath or blood alcohol concentration was limited at .10% or higher for a failed test to equal impairment. The tests are classified as divided attention standardized field sobriety tests and they are commonly known as:

  • walk-and-turn test
  • horizontal gaze nystagmus test (an eye movement test)
  • one leg stand test

While they might seem a little silly, they do serve a purpose – but there are also several reasons why you might refuse a test such as these at the time. There are many medical conditions and physical impairments that mean that you will fail these tests even if you are completely sober – and in this case, you might want to refuse.

Are Sobriety Field Tests Required in Omaha Nebraska?

If you have been pulled over by a police officer and you have refused the field sobriety tests, you should know that there is no legal requirement in Omaha, Nebraska to take the field sobriety tests – and you cannot be charged for saying no to these tests.

However, when you obtained your driver’s license you did agree to submit to a portable breath test. A portable breath test is a small device that a person blows into to test the level of alcohol in their lungs.  Should the officer request that you submit to a portable breath test, you must submit or you can be charged with a crime and arrested. The request for the portable breath test is normally conducted at the conclusion of the officer’s investigation.

There are still some circumstances in which an officer might conduct other tests, and an officer can still arrest you under certain circumstances for a DUI in Omaha regardless of whether the sobriety field tests have been done, based upon the officer suspecting that you are under the influence.

Can I be arrested?

While you aren’t required to perform the field sobriety tests in this state, you must submit to the portable breath test or you will be arrested. It is also possible that you might still be arrested for driving under the influence if you are arrested in a state of seriously impaired cognition or if you are involved in an accident. If you have been arrested for a DUI, then the law can requires you to perform a breathalyzer test after your arrest.

If you have been arrested or charged, the best course of action is to make an appointment with a lawyer to discuss your case and the way forward. We offer a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer and can fully advise you as to the impact of the charges and on your driver’s license.

Law Office of Julie Fowler, PC, LLO DUI Defense Attorneys

At Fowler & Kelly Law, L.L.P., we provide knowledgeable, aggressive and informed advice for you DUI Cases & OWI defense. As an experience DUI/OWI defense lawyer, we can:

  • Protect your driving privileges
  • Minimize the impact a DUI/OWI has on your life
  • Inform you of your options

Avoid making mistakes and protect your license and your ability to drive. Once we begin representing you, the authorities may only communicate with you through us or while we are present. This ensures you will not hurt your case by making an inadvertent admission. Our personalized service allows our clients to make informed decisions that are in their best interests. Contact our office today for any DUI legal issues you are facing.

We serve clients in Omaha, Council Bluffs, Lincoln, Fremont and all other areas throughout the eastern part of Nebraska and the western parts of Iowa. Other cities include Blair, Bellevue, Glenwood, Papillion, Plattsmouth, La Vista, West Point, Red Oak, Atlantic and Missouri Valley.

Contact our law office today for FREE Consultation. 


The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.