What You Need to Know About Field Sobriety Tests

If you ever find yourself pulled over by a police officer and the officer suspects that you may be driving drunk, the officer will undoubtedly ask you to perform some so-called "field sobriety tests." As a Salem criminal defense attorney, people frequently ask me about these "tests" and whether they should take them.

The bad news is that these tests are designed in such a way that it is easy for people to fail them, even if they are not intoxicated. For example, in the so-called "9 step walk and turn test," the police officer is trained to look for eight separate things. Even if you were to do six of the eight things correctly (which would have been a solid "C" score in school), it is still considered to be a failure. Furthermore, people can easily perform poorly on these "tests" for any number of reasons that have nothing to do with intoxication. For example, if someone is nervous or tired or overweight or injured, they could easily fail the tests.

The good news is that, unlike the case with refusing the breathalyzer test, your license will not be suspended just because you refuse to take the "field sobriety tests." It is also great news that, in Massachusetts, the prosecutor and the police are not allowed at trial to make any mention of the fact that you refused these "tests." In fact, sometimes jurors are left with the impression that the police officer conducted a shoddy investigation and didn't even give you the tests. Thus, there are some very good reasons to refuse these tests, depending on the circumstances.

However, even if you have taken thes "tests" and done poorly, all hope is not lost. With the help of a top-notch attorney, many people who failed the tests can still beat their oui / dwi / drunk driving case. That is why it is so important to contact an attorney immediately if you have been arrested or charged with a crime.

If you have been arrested and charged with oui / dwi / drunk driving, it is important that you hire an aggressive and experienced attorney fighting for your rights from day one. Contact Salem criminal defense lawyer Kevin Prendergast today for help with your charges.