No one wants to get pulled over for DUI, especially if you did have one or two drinks before you got behind the wheel. Even though you might be convinced you are not over the legal alcohol limit to drive, the entire experience can make you so nervous that you appear drunk.
Police officers must have reasonable suspicion to pull you over. This means you must have already acted in a manner that gives them reason to believe you are driving drunk.
Many people do not know their rights at DUI stops
You may assume that once you are pulled over you must do everything the officers say. You must show the officers your driver’s license and registration if they ask. The next question from officers at a DUI stop is likely going to be if you are willing to perform some field sobriety tests.
Unlike breath tests, where there are potential legal consequences for a refusal, you can refuse field sobriety tests with no legal repercussions.
There are various types of field sobriety tests. You may be asked to walk a straight line, recite the alphabet backwards or follow a light with your eyes.
Field sobriety tests are supposed to provide officers with the probable cause they need to arrest you if they believe you are intoxicated. If you fail the tests, you could be arrested.
Field sobriety tests are a big deal
Most people submit to field sobriety tests because they believe that they must or they are too nervous to say no. Refusing is especially difficult if the police officers are nice or act as if the tests are not anything to worry about.
However, field sobriety tests are notoriously unreliable and do not always accurately measure someone’s level of intoxication.
Additionally, many times police officers have already decided that you are intoxicated and want to perform the tests because they need proof to arrest you. Therefore, the tests are not necessarily helping them gauge your impairment.
You can submit to field sobriety tests if you wish. Performing them can be beneficial in some cases. But if you are arrested based on the results of field sobriety tests, you might have a valid DUI defense.The post You do not have to take field sobriety tests first appeared on W. Scott Hanken, Attorney at Law.