Getting pulled over by a police officer inherently presents many potential issues. Maybe you were speeding, forgot to use a turn signal, were driving recklessly, etc. Getting pulled over while intoxicated presents a whole new set of challenges. When a police officer suspects that you have been drinking due to your behavior, dilation of your pupils, or because you told them; they have the option to administer standardized field sobriety tests in Fort Worth. Though these tests can be rather extensive and laborious, they are only one option that the officer has in collecting evidence against you. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are three types of approved Standardized Field Sobriety Test. These tests are specifically designed to gauge how impaired you are.
If you are asked to take any one of these common tests or perhaps a more unique version of them, you have every right to decline the officer. If you refuse to take the test, you will likely be asked to either take a breath test or a blood test. Refusal of a blood test can result in automatic license suspension and being arrested. If you have already taken a field sobriety test and were arrested as a result of it, your Fort Worth DWI lawyer may be able to use the police officer’s methods or the results of the case to argue in your defense. After taking a Standardized Field Sobriety Test and getting arrested, it is wise to make calling an attorney your next step. Give the attorneys at Cole Paschal Law a call today to learn more about how we have successfully helped our clients fight DWI charges for the last three decades.
Are You Required to Take Standardized Field Sobriety Tests in Fort Worth?
No. Though you are required to comply with an officer’s request to step out of your vehicle, you do not have to agree to take any version of a field sobriety test. When the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests are administered, the law enforcement officer is typically attempting to gauge how impaired you are. In most cases, they already suspect that you are intoxicated. Refusing to take the test could result in a police officer arresting you based only on their observations. The only circumstances in which it may be advantageous to refuse a field sobriety test and opt for a blood test is when you are either 100% certain that you are intoxicated or are unsure but likely intoxicated under the standards of the law. A Fort Worth DWI lawyer would much rather fight the results of just a blood or alcohol test, as opposed to having to fight the results of two tests.
Common Types of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests in Fort Worth
There are three types of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests that are recognized by the NHTSA. They include the Horizontal-Gaze Nystagmus, One-.Leg Stand, and Walk-and-Turn. Each of these tests is designed to show if you are impaired and potentially how impaired you are by asking you to complete tasks that would be relatively easy for most people who are not under the influence of anything. In addition to these standard tests, police officers can utilize non-standard tests in tandem with them. Some of these tests can include saying the alphabet backward, counting how many fingers the officer is holding up, etc.
Enlist Hard-Hitting Defense to Fight Your DWI Charge
Though the results of a Standardized Field Sobriety Test may seem damning from the onset, they may be used to help in your defense. This could be the case if there were other factors that influenced your poor results such as weather, inability to comprehend the officers’ requests, language barriers, disabilities, etc. If you have been arrested for DWI and completed a Standardized Field Sobriety Test with less than satisfactory results, it is recommended that you connect with a Fort Worth DWI lawyer as soon as you can.