So, you are out at a party with friends and you have a beer or two. Typically, beers do not affect you like other liquors do so you feel perfectly fine to drive home late in the night. Suddenly, you have to use the restroom pretty bad and instead of stopping, you try your best to make it home. Shaking and feeling very antsy you, only for a moment, fail to maintain your lane while trying to keep your composure and not use the restroom on yourself. There is a law enforcement officer nearby that notices this mishap and activates their lights and sirens. When you stop, they ask you if you have been drinking. Whether or not you say “yes”, they may ask that you adhere to a field sobriety test. Because you feel perfectly fine, you refuse. The test is used to help law enforcement officers determine if an accused party may be intoxicated in any capacity. In some cases, refusing a field sobriety test is not frowned upon. However, in some states if you do refuse a field sobriety test that decision will be used against you in the court of law.
While field sobriety tests may not be one hundred percent required, they are a formality for police officers when they pull an individual over and suspect driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. With the results of a field sobriety test, law enforcement is able to determine if an individual is likely under the influence of any drugs or alcohol. These results may also be used against you, depending on how they may benefit the prosecutor.
It is merely impossible to refuse a test without knowing exactly what you are being asked to participate in. There are a few things a police officer may ask you to do during a field sobriety test. The one-leg test is completed by standing on one leg and balancing it for as long as the officer asks, which is typically 30 seconds. There is also the walk and turn test, this may seem very self-explanatory but is also failed in most cases. The officer would ask that you take a few steps and turn on one foot. Then lastly, the horizontal gaze. The police officer will place an object in a place that you can see and move it in different directions, on this part of the test you are expected to follow the object wherever it goes. The officer will pay attention to your gaze and the speed of such, if there are any slight delays it is likely you will fail the field sobriety test.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI or DWI, don’t hesitate to reach out to a DUI defense attorney in Decatur, GA to start on your defense.
Thanks to Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into criminal defense and field sobriety tests.