Law enforcement officer conducting a field sobriety test

Should I Take a Field Sobriety Test?

Seeing lights from a law enforcement vehicle start shining in your rearview mirror can make any driver intimated. For drivers drinking alcohol before getting behind the wheel, though, this feeling is usually even more intense. Even if you feel you only had a “little” to drink, if a driver is pulled over, it’s critical for them to consider whether or not they should participate in a field sobriety test.

What is a Field Sobriety Test?

Most field sobriety tests focus on a driver’s coordination skills and can include the following:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus: this is the evaluation of a driver’s eyes. Law enforcement officers will look to see if there are any involuntary movements of the eyes when the driver is looking at a moving object, such as a flashlight or pen.
  • Walk-and-Turn Test: during this test, a driver will be instructed to take a certain amount of steps forward, heel-to-toe, in a straight line, and then proceed to turn around, taking the same amount of steps back, also heel-to-toe.
  • Standing on One Leg: exactly as it sounds, this is when a driver is asked to stand with one foot about six inches off the ground and hold that position until the officer says otherwise.

Pros of Taking a Field Sobriety Test

If you are completely confident that you are sober, you should feel confident taking a field sobriety test. Not being intoxicated does not equate to being sober, though. Being sober means having no alcohol in your system whatsoever. Drivers who “only” had one drink would not be considered sober and could still be found driving under the influence even if their blood alcohol concentration is below the legal limit.

Cons of Taking or Not Taking a Field Sobriety Test

A significant con of taking a field sobriety test is a driver feeling confident they will pass the test and then fail to do so. Additionally, if a driver refuses to take a field sobriety test, they will automatically lose driving privileges.

Johnson City DUI Attorneys

Whether a driver took a field sobriety test or not, facing a DUI charge can have serious repercussions. That’s why the team at Meade Law Group is here for you. See how our dedicated DUI attorneys will fight your case so you can legally get back on the road. Contact us online or by phone — (423) 464-7779