One of the most common mistakes people make during a DWI stop is to submit to a field sobriety test. These are tests that require you to exit the vehicle to perform certain movements or actions. Three tests are sanctioned by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. You may be asked to exit your vehicle to walk heel-to-toe in a straight line. Police officers may ask you to stand on one leg and count. In other cases, you could be asked to focus your gaze and follow the police officer’s finger. All of these tests have on aspect in common – they are set up to make you fail. If you are pulled over in Texas on suspicion of a DWI, you can refuse a field sobriety test.
Should I Refuse a Field Sobriety Test?
There are many reasons why you could fail a field sobriety test even if you are not under the influence of alcohol. Police officers may incorrectly administer or evaluate these tests. People can also fail these tests if they suffer from certain health conditions, such as back or knee pain. Certain types of clothing, such as sandals, can cause you to fail and spend a night in the slammer. Even cold weather can cause you to fail a field sobriety test. These factors often produce false positives.
Although you could face arrest for refusing the test, your refusal may also help you in the long-run. Field sobriety tests are often recorded by police dashboard cameras. Anything you do or say could be captured by these cameras and used against you by prosecutors. Field sobriety tests can give a prosecutor more evidence to convict you of a DWI or possibly other charges.
Should I Hire an Attorney if I Submitted to a Field Sobriety Test?
If you were already arrested on suspicion of a DWI in Texas and submitted to a field sobriety test, then you should call an attorney as soon as possible. Depending on the circumstances, an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to use footage from your field sobriety test to argue for a reduction or dismissal of charges. As we stated earlier, there are many reasons why these tests can produce a false positive. Footage from a test may also show that your rights were violated.
A DWI arrest does not mean that you are guilty of a crime. However, it is important to select attorneys with experience handling Texas DWI cases so you are not charged. At Julian, Crowder, & Shuster, P.C., our Lewisville DWI defense attorneys will work tirelessly to defend your freedom.