Sobriety checkpoint sign with vehicle light trails approaching on road

If you are pulled over and accused of DUI, the police officer will ask you to take numerous field sobriety tests (One Leg Stand, Walk and Turn and the Horizontal Gaze and Nystagmus Test, among others). What many people do not know is that YOU DO NOT HAVE TO TAKE THESE TESTS. They are all voluntary. Remember, it is the government’s burden of proof. It is not the citizens or suspects burden of proof. Field sobriety tests are designed to give police officers probable cause to arrest you and they are designed to make you fail.

Police officers must administer these tests in compliance with the protocol and guidelines as set forth by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). If not, the results are invalid in making determinations about whether you may blow above the illegal limit of .08. Police officers claim that these tests are designed to determine impairment. However, that is a false claim. The NHTSA studies show that they are only designed to determine whether a person MAY blow above a .08. Furthermore, the percentages of this happening, assuming that the tests are administered correctly by the police officer, are much less than 100% according to NHSTA.

What if you have MEDICAL ISSUES, back problems, leg problems and/or inner ear disorders? These conditions can lead a PERSON TO FAIL. Yet the officer will not properly and scientifically take these medical conditions into consideration. It has been my experience that police officers do not properly take these medical conditions into consideration, and often times, they simply do not care about your medical conditions. Even more, they may not even ask whether you have any medical conditions that could impede your ability to perform these roadside tests.

If you are asked to do any of these tests, politely decline and ask to speak to a lawyer before you do any test. It is not against the law in Ohio to REF– USE field sobriety tests. An experienced and aggressive DUI attorney will know how to deal with a citizen/suspect who refuses field sobriety tests.

When choosing your DUI attorney, remember to find someone that is TRAINED and extremely well-versed in these TESTS and TESTING PROCEDURES. Steve Adams has been QUALIFIED to administer the NHTSA standardized field sobriety tests through the NHSTA student course. Mr. Adams has completed the training and passed the test that all police officers have to take as it relates to standardized field sobriety testing. He has also successfully completed the NHTSA instructor’s course relating to these tests. Steve Adams has also been qualified as an expert in standardized field sobriety testing and has testified as an EXPERT IN STANDARDIZED FIELD SOBRIETY TESTING in Ohio. Questions? Call us at 513-929-9333.

Steven R. Adams
Steven R. Adams is a criminal defense lawyer dedicated to DUI, OVI, and criminal defense in Cincinnati, Ohio.