What Field Sobriety Tests Are Used to Determine a DWI?
You are NOT required to consent to field sobriety tests. Remember, even if you passed the Breathalyzer test, you can still be arrested for DWI if an officer feels she or he has probable cause to suspect that you have lost control of your physical and mental faculties.
You cannot lie to the police officer, but you do have the right to remain silent. Don’t tell them what you had to drink or how much. While you are legally required to submit a breath or blood test at this point, again, you CAN refuse to give a sample. If you don’t consent to field sobriety tests, you may be arrested anyway, but it will be much harder to prove there existed probable cause to arrest you.
Even if you do consent to field sobriety tests and are arrested based on your performance, a lawyer trained in these tests knows that they don’t actually work to test for intoxication, and can prove why.
Let’s look at the three ways in which an officer can attempt to test your mental and physical faculties:
1) The HGN
2) The Walk-and-Turn
3) The One-Leg Stand
These so-called “tests” do not actually prove anything. At every single DWI trial where I’m defending a client, I subpoena the police officer to bring his training manual and ask him to show me exactly where it says that if I make a mistake on my walk and turn, or any of the other tests, that it means I’ve lost control of my normal physical and mental faculties.
They can’t do it. Why?
Because it’s not in there!
DWI is the only situation in which a criminal court allows someone with a paltry three days’ training to testify as an expert. This evidence would be inadmissible in civil court! And I’ll tell you why.