Getting pulled over for suspicion of drinking and driving is an overwhelming situation to find yourself in and it is crucial to know your rights. The officer who pulls you over may begin by asking you a series of questions and, at some point, you may be asked to step outside of your vehicle to take a field sobriety test. How you handle this situation can potentially harm or help your case, so continue reading to learn more about field sobriety tests during a DUI stop.
Understanding Your Rights
Tennessee, much like every other state in the country, uses field sobriety tests when examining a person’s sobriety or level of intoxication at a DUI stop. The three most common and generally accepted forms of these tests are the Walk-and-Turn, the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, and the One-Leg Stand. Despite the fact that field sobriety tests are part of Tennessee’s standard procedure, they are incredibly unreliable due to a variety of factors, such as a lack of controlled conditions and subjective grading.
Of course, the greatest concern when it comes to refusing a field sobriety test is whether it will result in an automatic DUI. You are not legally obligated to subject yourself to field sobriety tests. However, you are required to take a chemical test, such as a breath or blood test, due to implied consent laws. Oftentimes, when an officer asks a driver to take these field sobriety test, there is already an assumption that the driver is intoxicated and these series of tests are merely a path toward collecting more evidence against you. Politely decline the officer’s request for a field sobriety test. If asked to submit to a chemical test, on the other hand, you must do so or you will risk losing your license for one year or more, depending on the number of offenses you have on record.
Discuss Your Case with a DUI Attorney Today!
If you are facing a DUI charge, reach out to the criminal defense team at Patton | Pittman Attorneys to secure the skilled legal counsel you need to defend your rights. The sooner you hire an attorney, the sooner you can get your life back on track.
Call our law office today at (931) 361-4477 to request a consultation.