Refusing Field Sobriety Tests A Good Idea?
Ask any Las Vegas DUI/DWI Attorney, and most will tell you that refusing field sobriety tests is always a good idea because there are many inherent problems present in these tests. Field Sobriety Tests (FST) are used by the police to determine if a person is fit for driving by testing the driver’s balance, coordination, and attention. Many people have been charged because of these tests, but it could have been avoided by being aware of the following facts.
Field Sobriety Tests are voluntary if you are 21 and above and not on probation for a DUI. Several drivers do not know that they can politely refuse to take field sobriety tests. If you have been asked or commanded to take field sobriety tests, always refuse while showing respect. You cannot be punished or penalized if you refuse these tests as well, even if the prosecution and/or officer makes a note about the refusal.
Field Sobriety Tests are hard, even for sober drivers, so why should they be used to measure a driver’s capability if sober drivers find it difficult themselves? There were even some cases when a driver failed their field sobriety test, but they have a BAC of 0%. Other factors that can cause this are nervousness, weak dexterity, sickness, or the consumption of prescribed medication.
The police already suspect you because they already ordered you to stop. They will be looking for anything that’s remotely suspicious, and find a reason to hold you in jail. Don’t give them another reason to arrest you by refusing the tests.
Field Sobriety Tests will be used against you in court by the prosecution. It’s their job to prove that you were driving drunk, so deny one of their points through refusal.
Field Sobriety Tests are subjective. These tests are designed to find possible symptoms of driving while intoxicated. Even if you think you passed, they may just tell you that you failed the test because they noticed some “evidence” of DUI. For example, they may take note of the smell of alcohol from the driver’s breath and car, and they could have decided at that point to arrest you then.
Field Sobriety Tests can be challenged. Thankfully, these tests can be challenged by the defense as ineffective, or because the person was feeling extremely stressed during the testing.
However, by consenting to the test, the police officer might let you off without any additional problems. Not every situation is the same, and if you think that you have a good chance of being released by taking the test, then feel free to do so. If you were still charged with DUI, then it’s important to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
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