When is it a Good Idea to Take the Field Sobriety Test in a DUI Stop?
Perhaps you were driving erratically and gave the officer reasons to believe you may have been drunk driving. Maybe your swerving, weaving, and hugging the center lane, were driving patterns the officer considered that of a drunk driver and pulled you over to investigate. When the officer is asking questions and decides to test you further, it is always a good idea to comply. If you’re wondering when is it a good idea to take the field sobriety test in a DUI stop, the answer is when the officer asks.
These are some of the different field sobriety test administered at a DUI stop;
The Field Vision Test
If the officer suspects the driver is under the influence of alcohol, they will ask the driver to stand and look directly at the officer. During this time, the officer will observe the moments of the pupils, and either use a finger or pen, to get the driver to follow along with the moment of the object using the eyes only. When the driver is unable to listen to the instructions and turns their head, it could be they don’t have the motor skills from drinking to perform the test correctly.
Your DUI attorney can try to dispute this test by citing you have an impairment that caused incorrect results or you are physically unable to perform that test.
Walking a Straight Line
One field sobriety test that many police officers administer to drivers is making them walk a straight line along the side of their vehicle. In some instances, the officer will give clear instructions on how to walk, turnaround, and repeat the test. The entire test is being videotaped by the dash camera in the police car to be presented as evidence in this case.
Your DUI attorney can dispute the results of this field test by showing you have a physical impairment or injury that altered the results. Your attorney can also present evidence that you were tired from working or traveling a long distance, and not alcohol related.
Balancing on One Foot
Balancing on one foot is a field sobriety test officers give drivers who they feel are under the influence. The driver must stand on one foot, hold the other foot in the air without moving it, and either hold that position or take part in a verbal test at the same time. The officer will often give the driver a few attempts before making their determination as to whether the river is impaired.
Your attorney can fight this test in court citing that this particular test is challenging for even someone completely sober. When driving in the middle of the night and tired, you may be confused by the instructions of the officer, afraid of the officer, or just too tired to perform the test. It is a good idea to take the test because your attorney will have proof of the test to dispute.
Reciting Your Alphabet
There are many officers who prefer to have drivers recite the alphabet during a field sobriety test to determine if they are impaired. The testing usually involves slowly reciting the alphabet from J to W, or even being asked to recite the alphabet backwards.
Your DUI lawyer can make a case that even a sober driver under pressure from an officer will have a hard time reciting the alphabet backwards.
Testing With Your Eyes Closed
One popular field sobriety test used by officers is asking the driver to stand up straight, and tilt their hard back without falling over. Usually this is a challenging task for a person under the influence, and opens the door for the officer to conduct other more accurate tests on the driver. There are a number of variations to this test, including closing the eyes and touching the nose with a finger, and standing perfectly still with the eyes closed.
Your DUI attorney can show evidence that a tired sober driver in the middle of the night might have trouble performing this test successfully.
These field sobriety tests are some of several used by police officers to determine whether there is probable cause for moving forward with the DUI arrest. Your DUI attorney knows that if any of these tests were not conducted properly, there’s the possibility the potential charges could be dropped.
As you can see, if you refuse to take any tests, that refusal is viewed by the courts as an admission, and you are going to be piling up the penalties. That refusal also makes it extremely harder for the Chicago DUI attorney to defend because they have no actions of the officer to dispute. It is always a good idea to take the field sobriety test, no matter how inconvenient it may be at the time.