No, you are not legally obligated to submit to field sobriety testing during a traffic stop. And, if you do refuse this testing, you will not incur any automatic penalties.
Field Sobriety Testing in DUI Stops: Here’s What You Should Know
When it comes to field sobriety testing during DUI traffic stops, here is some more important information that motorists should be aware of:
- Field sobriety tests are not necessarily standard – In fact, although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has developed “standard field sobriety tests” (SFSTs), law enforcement officers are not required to always administer the SFSTs. In reality, officers can, instead, administer whatever types of sobriety tests they want. This is one way in which field sobriety testing can be less than objective in practice.
- The results of these tests can be subjectively evaluated – Just as this testing can be subjectively administered, it can also be subjectively judged, meaning that the results of this testing are not always as objective as they may seem. In fact, what few drivers realize is that, during this testing, they will be penalized for things they do wrong (or things are perceived to be wrong), but they will not receive points for the things they do appropriately. This can end up meaning that field sobriety testing is inherently biased.
- If you think you will “fail” this testing, it’s usually better to refuse it – Given the above two facts, as well as the fact that you can refuse this testing without any automatic penalties, it’s generally advised that motorists who will not pass this testing refuse to take it. This is because failures can be used against you later, and refusing this testing can help motorists avoid giving authorities more evidence against them.
- If you do “fail” this testing, there can be ways to challenge this result – If you were not aware of any of these facts about field sobriety testing and you did “fail” it during a DUI stop (and you are now facing DUI charges), don’t kick yourself just yet. There can be a number of ways to try to discredit these failures, such as by pointing out the subjectivity of this testing, any medical conditions that may have contributed to “failures,” etc.
Need a Strong DUI Defense? Contact a Boulder DUI Lawyer at Peter Loyd Weber & Associates
Have you or a loved one been charged with a DUI? If so, a Boulder DUI lawyer at Peter Loyd Weber & Associates is ready to immediately start defending you. Our primary concern is protecting your constitutional rights throughout the criminal process while helping you obtain the best possible outcome to your case.
To talk about your defense and how we can help you, call us today at (720) 863-7755 or email us using the contact form on this page. We offer complimentary consultations, and we take pride in always being available to our clients – 24 hours per day, 7 days per week – so that they have the personal attention their case deserves.