If you have even been asked to do a field sobriety test during a California DUI stop, you know how difficult these tests can be. Law enforcement may say the field sobriety test or FST is set up to distinguish those that are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but the fact is these tests are very difficult for anyone to pass, even someone that is completely sober and not guilty of DUI.
In every local jurisdiction of the state under 2022 California DUI laws, there is no legal rule against refusing a field sobriety test when asked by a police officer who is looking for literally any misstep by a driver to try and justify a DUI arrest.
A police officer is not likely to ever tell a person they have the right to refuse the field sobriety tests when the officer requests it. In most cases however, the officer will give every implication or insinuation that a person must comply to take the DUI field sobriety tests or they will automatically be arrested and go to jail.
It is important to know under current California legal code that an individual does have the right to refuse to take field sobriety tests without automatic consequences. This is why when arrested for DUI in any location of California today, a defendant must get expert local legal help with a trusted free DUI attorney consultation online or in person as soon as possible to know if your legal rights were violated at any point of the sobriety test procedure or arrest which could get a case dismissed.
Why Are California Field Sobriety Tests so Difficult?
A “fair” test is one that every person would have a reasonable chance of passing. This may have been what the inventor of field sobriety tests had in mind when creating these tests, but that was hardly the outcome. For several reasons, these tests are difficult for anyone to pass. In reality, someone that is perfectly sober could fail these tests and be arrested for DUI.
How can you fail these tests if you are sober? Well, imagine being stopped on a windy, rainy night on your way to some type of formal event. In all likelihood, you would be wearing some type of dress shoe with a slick bottom. If the officer request that you take these tests, how can you be expected to keep your balance and walk a straight line in these conditions?
A situation such as this is a perfect example of how a sober person could fail a CA field sobriety test. A gust of wind could blow you off balance while standing on one foot. Or, you could lose your footing while working on a painted line when your shoes have no grip. The results of these tests are even more damning when you take into account the testing is probably being filmed on the officer’s dash cam.
You Can Refuse to Take California Field Sobriety Tests
For the reasons mentioned above, you should refuse to take these tests. Today, the court realizes these tests are unfair and in many cases, the conditions of the test are the reason this evidence is thrown out. If you are worried about the appearance refusing to take these tests will give to the courts, your lawyer can explain the reason and it will not be held against you during the proceedings.
Hiring a DUI Attorney in California
Whether you have taken a California field sobriety test or not, if you have been arrested and want to fight the charges, you will need a local expert criminal defense lawyer to help you. Please fill out the quick form and we will then provide you with a free case review. In addition, you will also be provided with contact information for local, skilled attorneys that can help you win your case.
Taryn J. White is a legal research specialist and DUI law news reporter. Her current accomplishments include helping those facing any driving under the influence arrest charges, get free online assistance in learning how to fight a DUI case for the best possible outcome.