Just about everyone knows that law enforcement may subject you to several
tests if you are pulled over for
DUI. Though these tests may seem mandatory, the fact of the matter is that
they may not be.
Standard field sobriety tests include the following:
- The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test
In this test, the officer may ask you to look at a pen or other object
that is held close to your face. As they move the object from side to
side, they will tell you to keep your eyes focused on that item. If eye
movement is jerky, they may take that as evidence of intoxication.
In this test, the officer will ask you to take a number of steps in a straight
line with one foot placed directly in front of the other. Then, the officer
will ask you to pivot and walk back in the same manner. If your balance
is off, the officer may use that as evidence of intoxication.
In this test, the officer will ask you to stand in front of him or her
and proceed to lift one leg off of the ground, typically for 30 seconds.
If you are not able to complete this or your balance seems particularly
off, the officer may use that as evidence of intoxication.
You may be thinking – I can’t do that on a good day or I have
an eye problem that causes my eyes to move irregularly! These tests are
not 100% accurate and have been proven to be faulty in many cases.
So, does it make more sense to just refuse to take a field sobriety test
in the first place?
Refusing a Field Sobriety Test – The Right Way
Depending on your circumstances, it might be a good idea to politely refuse
to take a field sobriety test. Although you are legally required to get
out of your vehicle if the officer requires it, you may state that you
would like to refrain from performing a field sobriety test. This is not
legally required of you.
Remember these things when you are asked to perform a field sobriety test:
Be polite and respectful. If you are belligerent or disrespectful, law enforcement may conclude
that you have something to hide. Comply with their demands as much as
possible without incriminating yourself.
It is not legally required of you. If the officer has probable cause to obtain a warrant against you, they
might do it anyway. By taking the test, you are probably just giving them
more “evidence” against you.
Speak with an Experienced Santa Rosa DUI Attorney!
If you have been charged with a DUI, there is no better way to handle the
situation than to reach out to a skilled DUI lawyer. With dedicated legal
help on your side, you can work to fight your charges and rest assured
that your rights will be upheld throughout case proceedings.
Contact the Law Office of Evan E. Zelig today for more information.