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What could go wrong if you agree to take a field sobriety test?

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2021 | criminal defense | 0 comments

If law enforcement pulls you over on suspicion of driving while impaired, the officer may ask you to take a field sobriety test. 

There are three parts to the standardized FST, all of which seem easy enough to execute. So, what could go wrong if you take the field sobriety test? 

About the test

The field sobriety test consists of three parts: the One-Leg Stand, the Walk and Turn and the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test. A variety of issues can affect the outcome. To begin with, the conditions where the officer conducts the test are usually not ideal. The terrain may be uneven and the weather windy or rainy. There are distractions such as the blinking lights from the patrol car and the noise of passing traffic. In addition, age, weight, gender and a variety of health issues could cause you to fail any one if not all of the tests.  

Difference of opinion

The law officer who administers the field sobriety test should be impartial. However, grading is subjective. Two officers may watch the video of the test you took and disagree on the score.  

Dubious outcome

Keep in mind that you are not required to take the field sobriety test. In fact, you may have a legitimate reason to politely refuse due to your age, a physical or mental impairment or certain medications you are taking. However, if you do take the test, remember that it is not uncommon for something to go wrong. A successful DWI defense strategy includes conducting a thorough examination relative to your field sobriety test results.