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Are field sobriety tests optional?

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2021 | DWI/DUI |

If you’re pulled over under the suspicion of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol in New York, the officer will likely ask you to perform a field sobriety test. These tests help the officer to verify that you’re most likely under the influence before they make an official arrest. The reality is that field sobriety tests are completely optional.

Police officers are trained to make you feel pressured

Officers are trained to make you feel as if their request for you to participate in a field sobriety test is mandatory. The reality is that field sobriety tests are completely optional. You can politely refuse to undergo the test. It’s advisable to refuse to do these tests as it provides less evidence to be used against you in a court of law if the officer does decide to arrest you for a DUI.

What are common field sobriety tests?

When it comes to asking you to participate in a field sobriety test, there are three main tests that officers will use. The first is the horizontal gaze test where they ask you to follow their finger or a pen. If you have a slowed reaction, it’s likely that you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The second test is the one-leg stand. Most individuals can stand on one leg when they are sober. Those who are intoxicated are less coordinated and are typically unable to do so. The third field sobriety test that you may be asked to undergo is the walk-and-turn test. You’ll be asked to walk a short distance and turn around on command.

Field sobriety tests are a tool that police officers use to help verify their suspicion of a potential driver being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. While you may feel pressured at the time of your stop, it’s not mandatory that you comply with participating in these tests. If you have undergone a field sobriety test because you didn’t realize your rights, then it’s advisable that you contact an attorney to fight your case.