The ONE thing police DON’T want you to know when they pull you over on suspicion of DUI
- October 29th, 2014
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What’s the one thing you should know if you’re pulled over by the police and they suspect you of driving under the influence? You do NOT have to do any field sobriety tests (FST’s). These tests are completely VOLUNTARY, meaning you can (and you should) decline to participate in them.
What are FST’s?
These are tests that police officers have you perform so they can better ascertain whether you were indeed driving under the influence. These tests include, but are not limited to, the horizontal gaze nystagmus test (where the officer instructs you to follow their finger or pen with your eyes), the walk-and-turn test, the Romberg test (where the officer instructs you to close your eyes and count to thirty), and preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test (better known as the breathalyzer).
Remember, police need “probable cause” to arrest you without a warrant, meaning they need objective evidence that you are driving drunk or under the influence of drugs. Your performance (and likely failure) on the FST’s will likely give the officer the probable cause they need to arrest you for a DUI, and your performance on these tests will also be used against you in court.
When an officer invites you out of the car to perform an FST, respectfully tell them: “On advice of counsel, I choose not to participate in any field sobriety tests.” Be polite and be courteous. The police officer might still arrest you, but you will not be giving them any further ammunition to help the prosecution convict you of a DUI.
Many innocent people will “fail” these tests for various reasons, and a good DUI attorney like Matthew C. Tabo can spot the weaknesses in these tests and attack them to get you the best result possible. Call now at (916) 504-2660 to schedule a free consult, and get your peace of mind back today.
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