Highway patrol officers all around the country rely heavily on field sobriety tests (FST) to secure a driving under the influence (DUI) arrest. Since knowledge is power, police would prefer it if drivers knew as little about FSTs and their rights as a DUI suspect as possible. Otherwise, their favorite tool to get an arrest and eventual conviction could become less useful. At Tidwell Law Group, LLC, our Birmingham criminal defense lawyer believes everyone should be armed with information to keep the criminal justice system honest.
Here are the three secrets the police would rather you not know about field sobriety tests:
- Field sobriety tests are unreliable: Probably the number one thing the police do not want you knowing about FSTs is that they are notoriously unreliable and entirely subjective. The police officer administering the test is the only one who is in charge of determining the driver’s sobriety. There is simply no science or objectiveness behind this process, which means the test results can never be taken as accurate.
- You might be able to refuse your FST without consequence: In some cases, you do not even need to take a field sobriety test at all and without fearing any sort of immediate legal consequence. Unless the officer tells you the proposed test is mandatory, you might be want to choose not to take it. After all, you know it will be inaccurate and subjective, meaning the officer can interpret the results however they want and misconstrue it into evidence of your alleged intoxication.
- Blood tests need a warrant now: This secret is not exactly about field sobriety tests but it is related – and it is important. The United States Supreme Court recently held that it was an unconstitutional violation of a suspect’s privacy rights top draw blood to conduct a blood test without a warrant. If you get brought back to a station for chemical tests and they want to do a blood draw, you can ask to see a warrant signed by a judge and refuse if they cannot produce one.
The point of these secrets is that you have more power and rights than you will be told when pulled over for suspicion of a DUI. It is important to stay calm, know your rights, and exercise them. If you do end up in trouble or handcuffs, ask to be permitted to call 205.536.7770 right away so you can talk to our Birmingham DUI lawyer at Tidwell Law Group, LLC. We can get you started with an initial consultation to discuss how you can fight your DUI charges.