Field Sobriety Tests and not Incriminating Yourself

When stopped for DUI, it’s important that you understand your rights and how to keep from further incriminating yourself. Many people do not understand that they do not have to consent to field sobriety tests. Unlike refusing a breath test, there is no penalty for refusing field sobriety testing. What you might not understand is that the tests that they use can incriminate you. In today’s day-and-age, recording all aspects of this stop, from start to finish, is standard procedure. This can be great for you, but also inherently negative.Take for example when they ask you to perform the one-leg stand. The one-leg standard field test essentially asks you to balance, raise one left, and count to 30 out loud. Now, there are plenty of sober people out there that couldn’t complete this task— especially in a nerve-racking situation such as this. While you understand that you cannot do this in a normal scenario, the way it looks on video can be incriminating in front of a jury.

The police are trying to gain evidence to further prove that you are impaired before they ever breath test you. The key to not incriminating yourself is to maintain composure, reserve your right to refuse field testing, and take the breathalyzer when asked. Of course, you do have the option of refusing the breathalyzer— however it is ill-advised due to added penalties. By keeping calm, not speaking, and taking the breathalyzer— you’ll look much better in front of a jury, and they are more likely to fall on your side of the argument. Not to mention, there will be less evidence.

There’s a lot to know when it comes to your rights, testing, and how a DUI arrest goes down. And unfortunately, most people don’t familiarize themselves with the process until it’s too late. But that’s where your attorney comes in. There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to getting a DUI, especially to a first-time offender. So, do your research, find the right attorney for you, and ask any and all questions that you might have. After all, that’s what they’re there for— you.