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Why taking roadside sobriety tests is a losing proposition

On Behalf of | Jan 16, 2023 | DUI Defense

You stopped for happy hour with the gang from work at the bar near your office. Now, it’s time to head home. You don’t think that you have had too many drinks to drive safely, and you had plenty of the bar’s complimentary hors d’oeuvres.

So, you’re surprised to see those dreaded blue lights behind you as you cruise home. You’re being stopped for suspicion of drunk driving. What happens next will be critical to your case.

Don’t take the roadside sobriety tests

When the law enforcement officer approaches your car, they will typically ask you for your driver’s license, proof of auto insurance and registration. If during that brief contact with you, the officer suspects that you are intoxicated, they might ask you to perform up to three roadside sobriety tests

There are three types of these roadside tests:

  • Walk and turn – Many people who are 100% sober will have difficulties walking 10 steps toe-to-toe, turning and walking back again. People with gait problems due to injuries or chronic conditions like arthritis can have trouble with this one in their doctor’s offices. Even ill-fitting shoes could cause someone to fail.
  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus – If you suffer from vision problems, this subjective test following the officer’s pen with your eyes can be challenging.
  • One-leg stand – There are all sorts of physical conditions that make standing still on one leg for half a minute impossible.

Keep in mind these tests are carried out on the side of the road, in possibly inclement, windy weather. Sometimes, you can be mere inches from traffic whizzing by you on the highway. 

Why hand the police and prosecutor evidence against you?

You have the right to politely decline to participate. The officer will likely arrest you and bring you to jail for an alcohol breath test. Remain silent after asking to speak to a criminal defense attorney who can defend your rights.