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Nashville Field Sobriety Test Attorneys

Am I Required to Submit to Field Sobriety Testing?

There is no legal requirement to take any field sobriety tests and as such, we recommend that you do not 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 the officer’s 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 response 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 considerable difference between refusing to take the tests and asking to talk to an attorney before making your decision.

Whether you refused field sobriety tests or took and “failed” roadside testing, May McKinney can offer valuable insight regarding your rights and legal options. Call (615) 265-6383 to learn more!

How to Refuse Field Sobriety Tests

If you are pulled over on suspicion of DUI:

  • Be polite and be quiet
  • Show your license and insurance
  • Ask, "Am I free to go?"
  • If so — leave. If not — BE QUIET
  • Sign ticket and property receipt ONLY
  • If you take a breath/blood test, IMMEDIATELY request a second independent test — it's your right

Do not:

  • Admit to drinking!
  • Perform ANY field sobriety test, including the eye test (these are NOT required by law)
  • Argue
  • Talk or make excuses

Please note that the refusal discussed above applies only to field sobriety tests. Breath tests fall under the doctrine of implied consent, and refusal may result in the suspension of your driver’s license.

What Can Affect My Performance on Field Sobriety Tests?

Even the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has admitted that sober persons can have difficulty with standardized field sobriety tests. As such, even if you submitted to field sobriety testing and “failed,” there may be ways to challenge the validity of the tests and your results.

Many different things can affect your ability to perform field sobriety tests, including:

  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Fatigue
  • Illness
  • Traffic
  • Wind
  • Dust in the eyes
  • Headlights
  • Strobes from the police car
  • Weather conditions
  • Physical problems
  • Inner ear disorder
  • Age
  • Weight
  • Footwear
  • Lack of coordination
  • Verbal distractions by the officer

Our Experience & Knowledge Can Make a Difference

Our Nashville field sobriety test attorneys understand how prosecutors approach 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. When it comes to challenging field sobriety test results, we know what to look for in errors, procedural violations, and a host of other factors that can impact their accuracy.

To discuss your case and the legal options available to you, call (615) 265-6383 or contact us online. We serve clients in Nashville, Mount Juliet, Franklin, Brentwood, and across Tennessee.

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Read Our Client Testimonials
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Why Choose May McKinney?

A Firm Committed to You, Your Case & Your Future
  • Nearly 80 Years of Combined Experience

    Our accomplished attorneys bring almost eight decades of combined criminal defense experience.

  • Educated In Our Field

    Our team believes in ongoing training in the criminal defense field. Our attorneys are educated in the latest forensic science technology and Attorney Riddle is Trauma Certified.

  • A Team Approach

    Our attorneys work each case as a unit, which is extremely beneficial to our clients. No matter the case size, it's integral to get the experience and knowledge of a team.

  • An Aggressive Defense

    When you choose May McKinney, you are choosing a team that will fight tooth and nail for your rights, your freedom, and your future.

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