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Attorney Katherine A. Gonos
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You may have a good reason for refusing field sobriety testing

On Behalf of | Nov 22, 2022 | Drunk Driving |

If a law enforcement officer stops you on suspicion of drunk driving, the officer might ask you to take a field sobriety test.

If you refuse, you could face driver’s license suspension. On the other hand, you may have a good reason not to take the field sobriety test.

Testing overview

There are three parts to the field sobriety battery of tests: The One-Leg Stand, the Walk and Turn and the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test. Impartial law enforcement officers administer and grade each test. However, many factors can cause someone to fail, such as back, leg or foot problems. Ear infections, low blood pressure or certain medications can cause balance issues that could cause a person to fail the One-Leg Stand. Height, weight, hip girth and foot length can affect the outcome of field sobriety testing. Age is also an important factor. People aged 65 or older and those who are at least 50 pounds overweight should not take these tests.

Subjective grading

The officers who watch the video of a driver taking field sobriety tests may disagree about the score. The problem is that grading is subjective. The driver may pass the tests according to one officer but fail in the opinion of another.

Next steps

If you face a charge of DUI but decline to take the field sobriety tests, you may have a good reason for your refusal. However, there are pros and cons to your decision. Your attorney will examine the circumstances, explore options with you and build a defense strategy that will result in the best outcome possible for your case.