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3 reasons never to agree to perform field sobriety tests

On Behalf of | Oct 1, 2021 | DUI

Many Georgia residents know the rudimentary facts surrounding the state’s DUI laws. That includes understanding that Georgia is an implied consent state regarding a driver giving a breath, blood or another type of sample to show that the driver was above the legal limit for driving at the time of the traffic stop.

But prior to being asked to provide the above sample, it is likely that the officer will ask the motorist to complete several types of field sobriety tests. Below are three major reasons why compliance is almost universally a bad decision.

Field sobriety tests are quite subjective

When an officer conducts a DUI stop, they already believe the driver is intoxicated. The rest of their procedures are intended to confirm the officer’s suspicions. Any hesitations in your performance or need to have the instructions repeated because you are being detained on the side of a noisy highway are considered further proof of your impairment.

The tests are designed to be failed

Very few people, regardless of their sobriety, can stand on one leg for 30 seconds without wobbling. Consider how many individuals are mobility-challenged, overweight or otherwise physically unable to pass these tests. Taking the tests is like handing the police and prosecution gift-wrapped evidence against you. Don’t do it.

Your physical and mental states during the traffic stop can affect your results

Just the sight of those blue lights in your rear-view mirror is enough to set off a chain of physiological and mental responses that can cause you to fail any field sobriety tests. That surge of adrenaline you feel can make you shaky. Hearing police commands barked at you by an officer with a bad attitude can cause you to misunderstand or misinterpret those directives and thus fail the roadside sobriety tests.

Choose a better response

Be polite as you inform the officer that you are invoking your right to remain silent and will not perform these field sobriety tests. Then, ask to speak to a criminal defense attorney before answering any additional police questioning.