Field Sobriety Tests
Knowledge of Your Rights During a Field Sobriety Test is Essential
Ideally, you should take the time to learn about your rights during a field sobriety test prior to ever getting one. Even if you’ve already been asked to take one of these tests, and possibly failed it, however, this information can still be valuable. Understanding what these tests are, and how they can impact your case, will allow you to know what to expect so you can be as prepared as possible.
Are These Tests a Reliable Indicator of Being Impaired?
In the event that you have failed a field sobriety test, the police and prosecuting attorney will likely try to tell you that this is clear proof that you are guilty, and try to get you to admit it to them. They may even try to get you to plead guilty to a judge as quickly as possible. The fact is, however, that field sobriety tests are generally unreliable, and can often be refuted in court. This is because they rely heavily on the physical abilities of an individual, which could be influenced by any number of factors.
Types of Field Sobriety Tests Used in South Carolina
The police will have a lot of options when it comes to asking you to perform a field sobriety test. The following are some of the most commonly used tests, chosen because they have been developed by the National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- Counting or saying the alphabet backward
- Spreading your hands out and attempting to touch your nose
- Standing on one leg
- Standing with feet together, then tilting your head back with your eyes closed
- Following an object with your eyes
- Walking a straight line
Are You Required to Take a Field Sobriety Test?
Police typically ask you to take a field sobriety test if they suspect you are driving under the influence. In many cases, they try to make it seem as if you are required by law to take these tests, but that is not the case. Refusing to take these tests may make the officer even more suspicious, and decide to take you in for a chemical test.
If you have indeed been drinking, refusing to take these tests can buy you some extra time before the chemical test is performed, which may allow time for some of the alcohol to leave your system. In addition, it is better to refuse to take a field sobriety test than to take it and fail, which can be used as evidence in your case.
You can even refuse to take an in-station blood or urine test if you choose, but this will result in having your license suspended for a year, so this should only be done in rare circumstances.
Contact Us Right Away
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Beaufort, South Carolina or the surrounding areas, you need to get in touch with us as quickly as possible. There are many time sensitive steps that need to be taken to protect your rights, so the sooner you contact Beaufort DUI the better off you will be.