The Facts Behind Common Field Sobriety Test Myths (Pt. 1)
One of the standard elements to DUI stops is field sobriety testing, which essentially involves law enforcement officials asking people suspected of drunk driving to perform various physical and mental tests to evaluate if they are like intoxicated and should be asked to submit to chemical testing (i.e., blood alcohol testing).
While this may not be news to most drivers, there are some common myths that people have about field sobriety tests, and believing these myths – without knowing the facts behind them – can end up causing people to:
- Not make the best choices during a DUI stop
- Build police officers’ and prosecutors’ cases against them if they end up being charged with DUI later.
In this blog series, we will debunk some of the most common myths that people have about field sobriety tests. If you or a loved one is facing DUI charges and is ready to move forward with the best defense representation, contact the Littleton, Colorado DUI defense lawyers at Knight & Moses today.
The Truth about Field Sobriety Tests
Myth 1 – I have to submit to a field sobriety test if police ask me to.
Fact – This is not the case at all. When you are pulled over under suspicion of drunk driving and a cop asks you to submit to field sobriety testing, you should know that:
- You have the right to refuse this testing.
- Your refusal will not result in automatic penalties.
- It will likely be in your best interest to refuse a field sobriety test if you think that, for any reason, you may not “pass” it. This is because a failure can serve as evidence against you if you are later charged with DUI, so don’t do anything that will end up strengthening a prosecutor’s case in the future.
Regardless of whether you submit to or refuse a field sobriety test, you should be aware that, if police still suspect that you may be intoxicated, you may be requested to submit to breath or blood alcohol testing. A refusal to undergo this testing will result in an automatic suspension of your driver’s license.
Myth 2 – All cops administer the same field sobriety tests.
Fact – Again, this is not the case. Although there are “standard field sobriety tests” (SFSTs) that have been established by officials at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), police can administer their own tests in addition to the SFSTs when they make DUI stops.
While this may not seem like an important fact to know about field sobriety tests, the fact of the matter is that the discretion that cops have when it comes to administering “tests” during DUI stops can end up stacking deck against drivers. In other words, police can use tests that are inherently biased against drivers, that may not have a proven way of evaluating sobriety and/or that set people up to fail.
Look for the upcoming conclusion to this blog for our continued discussion of the facts behind common myths about field sobriety tests.
Littleton, Colorado DUI Defense Attorneys at Knight and Moses
If you or a loved one has been charged with drunk driving, it will be critical that you have an experienced defense lawyer on your side in order to ensure the best possible outcome to your case. The skilled Littleton DUI defense lawyers at Knight and Moses strive to obtain the best possible resolution for our clients’ criminal cases.
To learn more about how we can provide you with the best DUI defense, email us using the form on the upper right-hand side of the screen or call us at (303) 797-1645.
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