Field Sobriety Tests…What You Need to Know

If you are ever pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated, you’ll likely be asked by the police officer to perform a series of field sobriety tests. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people don’t know that they can refuse to take field sobriety tests in most states (in fact, it’s usually a good idea to refuse to do so).

What Are the Field Sobriety Tests?

To put it simply, field sobriety tests are designed for you to fail. They’re subjective, inaccurate, and often performed incorrectly by officers.

While there are a variety of field sobriety tests, the most common and widely used are the:

  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus test (in which the officer asks you to follow a moving pen with your eyes while keeping your head still) 
  • Walk-and-turn test
  • One-leg stand test

Some of the inherent problems with these tests include the possibility that the person asked to perform the tests may be too old or out of shape to “pass” them, the terrain or even the types of shoes the person is wearing can affect balance tests, the officer may give unclear instructions regarding the tests, and ultimately, because of the subjectivity involved, the officer can rely on his or her own scoring method to guarantee failure.

As mentioned above, your best bet is to refuse to take field sobriety tests. However, if you do submit to the tests and are subsequently charged with a DUI/DWI because of them, you should contact an experienced DUI lawyer to mount a vigorous defense against the results.

An Experienced Attorney Can Help After a Crash

Sometimes, even the safest drivers can find themselves involved in an accident due to the behavior of an aggressive driver. In those situations, the aggressive driver can be held responsible and made to pay for your medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

In Alaska, accident victims can rely on attorney Ben Crittenden to help. As a personal injury lawyer, Ben has worked hard to make sure his clients’ voices are heard and they are able to obtain the maximum amount of compensation. Every accident victim deserves the chance to recover as fully as possible, and Ben is here to help you meet that goal. If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in an accident because of an aggressive driver, take a moment to fill out the contact form on this page, or request a free copy of Ben’s bookA Guide to Car Accident Claims in Alaska, to learn more about your rights.

Ben Crittenden
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Devoted to advancing his trial techniques and communication skills on behalf of injured victims in Anchorage.
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