Are field sobriety tests optional?

On Behalf of | Apr 27, 2021 | DUI |

If you’re pulled over in Alabama for suspicion of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it’s likely that the officer will ask you to participate in field sobriety tests. These tests are commonly used to help confirm an officer’s suspicion that a driver is intoxicated. As a driver, it’s crucial to realize that these tests are optional.

Standardized field sobriety tests

Those who are asked to perform a field sobriety test to confirm a police officer’s suspicion of being intoxicated will likely be asked to do one or more of the three standardized field sobriety tests. These include the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, one-leg stand test and walk-and-turn test. Poor performance in any one of these tests can help to confirm an officer’s suspicion.

Yes, they’re optional

If you’re pulled over under suspicion of a DUI, it’s important to realize that you’re not mandated to perform any field sobriety tests. Officers are trained to make these tests sound mandatory. However, they cannot physically make you participate in the test. It’s best to politely decline to participate in the tests.

When you undergo a field sobriety test, you’re essentially giving the officer more evidence against you. The more evidence they have, the harder your attorney might have to fight to prove your innocence. If the officer truly believes that you’re intoxicated, they will arrest you anyway. There’s no need for you to participate in any field sobriety tests to assist them in making their decision regarding charging you or not.

Field sobriety tests are commonly performed by people who are suspected of driving under the influence. Unfortunately, not many people realize that these tests are completely optional. If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, it’s always a good idea to contact an attorney to assist you.