What should I do if asked to take the field sobriety test?
There is no legal requirement to take any field sobriety tests and as such, you should never take them. These are subjective tests that are only 65% — 77% correct when administered in perfect conditions, administered exactly as designed and evaluated impartially.
The officer already thinks you are impaired — why else would they request you take the test? An officer who already is biased against you is the one who will be grading your performance. In America you do not have to prove your innocence, it is the duty of the State and the police to prove you are guilty. You have no obligation to do his job or help at this point.
The best response is to ask the officer "Am I required to take these tests?" The honest answer is no. Any other answer could leave a jury with the impression the officer is deceptive. At this point tell the officer that you would like to talk to an attorney before deciding what to do.
The officer most likely will refuse your request but there is a huge difference between refusing to take the tests and asking to talk to an attorney before making your decision. Please Note the refusal discussed above applies only to field sobriety tests. Refusal to take a breath/blood test is a different matter with different law.
What You Should Do
- Be polite and be quiet
- Show license and insurance
- Ask "Am I free to go?"
- If so — leave. If not — BE QUIET
- Sign ticket and property receipt ONLY
- If you consent to a breath/blood test, IMMEDIATELY request a second independent test — that is your right
What You Should Not Do
- Admit to drinking!
- Perform ANY field sobriety test, including the eye test (these are NOT required by law)
- Talk or make excuses
Call our Nashville DUI defense firm for skilled legal assistance — 615-686-2115.
What can affect my performance on the field sobriety tests besides alcohol?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has admitted that sober persons can have difficulty with these tests! Many different things can affect your ability to perform the tests including the following:
- Dust in the eyes
- Strobes from the police car
- Weather conditions
- Physical problems
- Inner ear disorder
- Lack of coordination
- Verbal distractions by the officer
Our Experience and Knowledge Can Make a Difference
Tennessee DUI lawyer Rob McKinney understands how prosecutors approach minor DUI cases. We understand the issues involved in building cases against those charged as well as how to work with the court and the prosecution in avoiding maximum sentences.
Free Consultation — Contact Our Firm
To discuss your case and the legal options available to you, contact DWI defense attorney Rob McKinney by calling 615-686-2115.