News article on DUI field sobriety tests
I recently came across this article discussing whether or not a person should do the field sobriety tests if they are being investigated for a DUI. The news article is from Atlanta, but the gist of the article applies the same as here in Washington State.
Dr. Spurgoen Cole a retired physician is quoted in the article as saying, “[the field sobriety test] is designed to fail. Its designed to fail. There are no norms, there is no average score. We have no idea what an average person can do on the one leg with the heel to toe.” And lastly he recommends that nobody takes them.
Hopefully most people know by know that if you’re being investigated for a DUI, its probably best to not do the field sobriety tests (the tests in the field, always ask to speak with an attorney prior to the breath test at the station). Although they may seem easy, when you take into account the circumstances, the situation, the environment, the lack of any real scoring system, and the fact your liberty is at stake. These are not ideal test conditions, and the smallest mistake can mean the difference between jail and going home. Not to mention my personal opinion is that these tests are nothing but junk science and I do believe they are designed for a person to fail. As as attorney I feel its always best to limit the amount of evidence law enforcement can gather against you. You have the right to remain silent and the right to be free from self incrimination. This includes the right to not answer questions, but also the right to decline these field sobriety tests.
If you have been arrested for a DUI, and you agreed to take the tests. All is not lost. There are still plenty of ways to challenge the admissibility of these tests, albeit it makes the DUI case more difficult. Feel free to call my office for a free 60 minute consultation if you have been recently arrested for a DUI.