Sometimes people are under the assumption that if an officer asks me to do something, they must do it. This scenario frequently happens when an officer requests a citizen to perform roadside field sobriety tests. “Do I have to do these tests?” The quick and easy answer to this is absolutely not. Many times an officer will pull a citizen over, make contact with the person, and smell alcohol. Many times an officer is pulling a person over for a minor traffic offense just to see if they can smell alcohol. Then, the officer says, “I just want to make sure you are okay to drive, I want you to perform some tests for me.” Many people mistakenly think they can prove their innocence to the officer and say sure no problem. You have a choice here. You can say “sure, no problem” or “you can say I’m sorry officer, I do not trust your grading criteria, I do not trust the accuracy of your tests, and I do not trust you. I do not want to take your tests.”
Oh no, you just told an officer that you were not going to provide any more evidence to him! What are the consequences? Some officers will arrest you and build their weak case from other clues of impairment. Some officers will realize they do not have enough evidence and let you go. (Rarely happens). Either you will most likely be going to jail if you the officer believes he smells alcohol. You can either go to jail having provided them evidence of your field sobriety tests, or you can go to jail with the officer mad because he has little evidence against you. You will increase your attorney’s chances of winning your case if you provide no evidence. Just so we are clear, there is no law that requires you to do field sobriety tests. There is no crime or punishment related to your failure to do field sobriety tests. Do not let an officer coerce you in to doing field sobriety tests. You will not pass them, even if you feel you do. Very rarely will an officer admit that a citizen that he arrested did fabulous on the field sobriety tests.
3 responses to “Field Sobriety Tests, Should I do them?”
This is so true as the officers could see that my legs were bandaged up as I have what is ulcer wounds on my lower legs,and they still asked me to do the test. and of course i failed. and was arrested.
I got a DUI a little while back, but i was wondering, why do officers do so many tests if they think you have been drinking? why cant they do one test, then make you do a blow test. I had to do 3 tests before they got the breathalizer out.
I have never been stopped for DUI. I cannot believe there is a penalty for not allowing a police officer to invade my body by taking a blood sample. All these tests are formulated for the driver to fail. If I pass all the physical tests and refuse the blood test, my license will be suspended and I will have to go to court to reinstate my license. The officer has NOTHING to lose, there is NO penalty for stopping a sober driver who simply does not wish to have his body invaded by a police officer who may or may not have the necessary expertise and sanitation environment. Also, the blood is not sent to an independent laboratory. I don’t want to start on the metabolite issue as it is too far over the top. This process is not about stopping drunk driving, it’s about revenue generation and the tougher the economy gets, the more stops will be executed because they want the MONEY.