Can I Refuse Field Sobriety Tests?

If pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence, the following is what you should know about your right to refuse taking a field sobriety test according to a DUI lawyer. To learn more about field sobriety tests or to discuss your case, call today and schedule a free consultation.

What is The Point of Field Sobriety Tests?

Interestingly, the point of these tests really isn’t to determine whether or not an individual’s impaired. The point of the field sobriety test is to give the officer probable cause to arrest an individual for suspicion of DUI. This means that it isn’t a test to see if you’re drunk rather it’s a test so that the officer can arrest you for suspicion that you’re drunk.

What that means is that the tests are really kind of rigged against suspected DUI drivers. They’re not designed by medical professionals who really understand how alcohol impairs an individual’s ability. These are done by police agencies for the purpose of gathering enough evidence to arrest somebody for suspicion of DUI.

Do I Need to Take a Field Sobriety Test in Maryland?

Absolutely not and you shouldn’t take them. The correct answer when an officer asks somebody to perform field sobriety tests is “Officer, my attorney advised me never to perform field sobriety test. It’s very, very rare for an individual to pass field sobriety tests.” There’s no penalty for saying no and, unlike the chemical breath test back at the police station, the state can’t take away any of your rights or privileges by you saying no. You don’t want to do the field sobriety tests.

How Do Field Sobriety Tests Impact My DUI Case?

If you choose to take the field sobriety test, they’re going to be used against you which means that they will be considered as evidence of impairment, whether you choose to take a breath test or not.

If you choose not to take the field sobriety test, they can’t really be used against you because you’re not giving any additional evidence of impairment. So, it’s always a good idea, like I said previously, not to do those field sobriety tests.

What Does it Mean For Field Sobriety Test to be Standardized?

Well, that means that there are three field sobriety tests which are the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, the Walk and Turn, and the One Legged Stand.

They have to be done in a very specific way and they have to be graded in a very specific way for the results to have any validity. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration publishes a manual and conducts training for officers to make sure that tests are administered in the standardized way. If they’re not, then the test itself is invalid and really shouldn’t be considered as evidence of impairment.