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Do I Have to Take The Field Sobriety Test?

If you get pulled over by a policeman who believes that you have been driving under the influence, then you will likely be asked to take the field sobriety test. The field sobriety test is only one method that a police officer will use to determine whether or not you are, in fact, intoxicated. So, you you actually need to take the field sobriety test when a police officer orders you to? Let’s find out.

A man performing a field sobriety test in Maryland.

What is the Field Sobriety Test?

The field sobriety test is a series of actions that you will be directed to do while a police officer tries to determine whether or not you are intoxicated. These activities usually require mental and physical dexterity to complete and vary in their method of assessment. The field sobriety test is not to be confused with the chemical test to determine your BAC.

Should You Take the Field Sobriety Test?

When a police officer asks you to take the field sobriety test, they already suspect you of being intoxicated and, in many cases, this bias will affect their judgment when evaluating your tests. The tests themselves are often subjective and can be performed poorly for any number of reasons including fatigue, medical problems, bad weather, and even clothes that affect your movement. Walking in a straight line can be pretty tough in heels on the side of the road overlooking a hill in the snow, and these circumstances aren’t always taken into account when looking at your performance.

Additionally, unlike the chemical test, there are no real consequences for declining to take the field sobriety test. As a reminder, there are often serious and lasting consequences for not taking the chemical test, so do not decline the chemical test.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, the easiest way to not get charged with a DUI is to drive soberly and safely. However, if you do get pulled over and are suspected of driving under the influence, take the chemical test, and get on the phone with a lawyer as soon as you can. A lawyer can help you navigate the complexity of DUI charges and help protect your future.

Ross W. Albers is a Leading DUI Lawyer in Maryland

Ross W. Albers has been recognized for his achievements in the field of DUI defense on multiple occasions and he can extend that expertise to your case. If you have questions about your case, your options, or anything else related to your legal concerns, contact us today and set up a free consultation.

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