Do I Have to Take a Field Sobriety Test?

During a DUI investigation, police officers may subject a suspect to certain field sobriety tests to find any signs of intoxication. These tests were developed by the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) to accurately measure impairment.

The following are the three types of standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs):

  • One-Leg Stand Test
  • Walk-and-Turn Test
  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) Test

If you are pulled over by law enforcement and asked to take a field sobriety test, you are legally allowed to say “no” without being subject to criminal penalties for refusal. Similar to a preliminary breath test, the officer will use these results to establish probable cause

It is important to understand that these tests are subjective. In addition, the police may not provide the right instructions and fail to take into account certain factors that may influence the results, such as the suspect’s age, health conditions, and even the road conditions.

Even if you are sober and pass the test, you could still be arrested. In many cases, officers have already made up their minds to make an arrest and are just building more evidence against you to use in court.

If you have been arrested for a DUI after failing a field sobriety test, hiring a criminal defense attorney to handle your case can make a huge difference. Your lawyer can challenge the evidence against you by determining if the arresting officer properly conducted the SFSTs or received the proper training to perform such tests.

If there was an error made by law enforcement, the results could be inadmissible in court. Without key evidence to prove your guilt, your case could be dismissed, or your charges could be reduced.

For more information about DUI arrests in Fredericksburg, contact Attorney Andrew Cornicktoday at (540) 818-3859 and request a free consultation.

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