It can be quite terrifying to have a police officer pull you over. An officer might suspect you of driving while impaired (DWI) even when it is just nerves making you act suspiciously. As a result of the suspicion, the officer might ask you to do a field sobriety test.
If you have never heard of field sobriety tests, here is what you should know.
What are field sobriety tests?
Essentially, a field sobriety test is one of a series of tests an officer might have you do to see if you are drunk. One test might include walking in a straight line. You might fail this test if you stumble or need assistance walking. Another test could have you following a pen with your eyes. An eye condition or lazy eye could make it hard to pass this test. Finally, you may be asked to stand on one leg for a short time. Medical conditions or just average clumsiness could cause you to fail.
Field sobriety tests are highly inaccurate
On many occasions, sober people have taken these tests only to be further suspected of DWI. It may come as a surprise that these tests are generally unreliable. Field sobriety tests are often done by inexperienced and new officers lacking proper training. Any suspicion of DWI could be the result of a medical condition, fatigue, caffeine, poor instruction, clumsiness or even age.
Refusing field sobriety tests
You may still be asked to do a field sobriety test despite the inaccuracies they contain. Unlike a chemical breath test, you are not required to take a field sobriety test. You can refuse without fear of losing your license or other penalties. If you decide to refuse a field sobriety test, however, you may still be taken in for additional chemical tests.
Knowing your rights can protect your future from being hurt by a DWI conviction. If you find yourself arrested for DWI, then you may need experienced legal guidance.