If law enforcement stops you on suspicion of drunk driving, the officer may ask you to agree to field sobriety testing.
The officer will administer the three tests—but you hesitate. Why should you avoid taking them?
About the tests
The Standardized Field Sobriety Test battery consists of three tests: the Walk and Turn, the One-Leg Stand and the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test. An officer will conduct the tests, take a video, and score the results after viewing it.
The tests should indicate the sobriety level of the driver. However, testing is subjective and not very effective in this regard. Drivers perform the tests at the side of the road in less-than-ideal conditions given an uneven surface, a steady flow of traffic, noise and flashing squad car lights. The person participating is usually frightened or at least nervous, which can easily affect the test results.
Issues to consider
Results of the One-Leg stand are often inaccurate. Balance problems are common, caused by factors such as inner ear issues, low blood pressure, a head injury or the medications a subject is taking. Spinal stenosis, sciatica, a herniated disk, arthritis and circulatory problems are among the conditions that can affect the results. Officers should not ask drivers who are over 65, who have a physical disability or who are more than 50 pounds overweight to perform the Walk-and-Turn test. Diabetics or drivers with thyroid disease may not be able to pass the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test.
Time to act
Field Sobriety Tests are limited in terms of effectiveness, but in avoiding them you face license suspension. Act promptly in seeking legal guidance. A thorough investigation can bolster your case and help produce the best outcome possible.