Why it’s never a good idea to submit to field sobriety tests

On Behalf of | Sep 22, 2023 | DUI |

No one sets out to get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), of course. But the fact is that a DUI offense is remarkably easy to rack up. All it takes is to get stopped by the police after you have consumed alcoholic beverages.

You may not even feel as if you are buzzed. But the police often use flimsy, impossible to disprove grounds for the arrest, e.g., the smell of alcohol, or watery eyes. Almost anything can be used to justify the stop. But you don’t have to make it easy for them.

Decline all field sobriety tests

The one thing every driver should realize is that field sobriety tests are designed for drivers to fail them. Many people can’t stand still on one leg for 30 seconds under the best of conditions. All sorts of medical conditions make that particular test impossible to pass. 

Then there’s the walk-and-turn test. Sure, it might be easy to do at home, but try it in high heels or a pair of tight cowboy boots on the side of the highway with big rigs blasting by at 70 mph mere feet from the traffic stop. It’s also likely to be dark. Maybe even raining. Suddenly, it’s a whole lot more challenging.

Don’t forget the vision test

It’s known as the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test, where the officer demands you to follow a pen with your eyes without moving your head. A jerky movement of your eyes is sufficient evidence to arrest you for DUI. 

But what about folks who have a lazy eye or another visual condition that makes it difficult to track an object that way? Busted.

Protect your right against self-incrimination

The bottom line? You have the right to politely decline these tests. You’re likely going to be arrested anyway and taken to jail where you have to take a breath test or lose your license. But at least you aren’t handing them evidence against you first. Assert your rights and learn more about how to launch a robust defense against the charges.