Refusing A Field Sobriety Test – Vehicle Code 23612 VC
I Refused A Field Sobriety Test And Was Charge With DUI. What Should I Do?
If you are charged with a DUI after refusing a field sobriety test, you should consult with a lawyer right away. The DUI lawyers at My Rights Law have helped many drivers get their DUI charges dismissed or reduced in California. To learn more, reach out to My Rights Law by calling us at (888) 702-8882 or completing our secure contact form.
Suppose a police officer pulls you over because they suspect that you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs in California. In that case, the police officer will likely ask you to take a field sobriety test. The police officer may make it appear as though the test is mandatory. However, if the police officer has not yet arrested you, you can legally refuse to surrender yourself to a field sobriety test.
What Are The Different Types Of Field Sobriety Tests?
There are several different field sobriety tests that a police officer may ask you to perform. However, there are only three that the National Highway Safety Administration officially endorses. These include the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk and turn test, and the one-leg stand test.
What Is The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test?
To administer the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the police officer will hold a small object approximately 12-15 inches from your nose and slowly move it from one side to the other. The police officer will ask you to follow the object with your eyes while keeping your head still.
The officer will look for clues in each eye during the test to determine whether they have probable cause to arrest you for a DUI. The first clue is whether the eyes are jerking or bouncing while following the object. Next, the officer will look for uncontrolled movements before the eyes reach a 45-degree angle. The last clue is uncontrolled movement at the most significant variation. This means the eyes begin jerking within four seconds while looking all the way to the side.
If the officer observes four or more of these indicators, they have probable cause to arrest you for driving under the influence.
What Is The Walk And Turn Test?
In the walk-and-turn test, the police officer will instruct you to take several steps in a heel-to-toe fashion in a straight line. After the last step, you must turn on one foot and return in the opposite direction in a heel-to-toe fashion. While you are completing the walk-and-turn test, the police officer is making a note of the existence of several factors, including:
You are incapable of maintaining your balance while listening to the police officer’s instructions;
Walking before the officer has completed the instructions;
You stop while walking to regain your balance;
You touch your feet heel-to-toe;
You use your arms to hold your balance;
You lose your balance while turning; and
You take an incorrect number of steps.
What Is The One-Leg Stand Test?
To complete the one-leg stand test, the officer will ask you to stand with one foot approximately six inches off the ground with your toe pointed. While maintaining perfect balance, you must count by thousands for thirty seconds. Meanwhile, your arms must remain at your side. Finally, you must look down at your foot. While you are completing this test, the police officer will observe you for indicators of impairment. If the police officer concludes that you exhibit two or more indicators, the police officer could arrest you for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The indicators include the following:
Putting your foot down before the test is completed;
Swaying while trying to hold your balance;
Hopping while trying to maintain your balance; and
Using your arms to help keep your balance.
Can You Still Be Arrested For A DUI If You Refuse A Field Sobriety Test?
A field sobriety test is one factor in determining whether you are under the influence. Suppose you refuse to comply with a field sobriety test. In that case, the police officer can still arrest you on suspicion of DUI if they have probable cause to do so. The police officer can rely on other signs of intoxication, even if you refuse to comply with a field sobriety test.
Does Refusing A Field Sobriety Test Guarantee The Court Will Not Convict You For DUI?
No. The field sobriety tests are ways for a police officer to determine whether they have probable cause to arrest you for driving under the influence. Other indicators can give a police officer probable cause to arrest you for a DUI even if you refuse to comply with a field sobriety test.
If you are charged with a DUI for refusing a field sobriety test, contact the DUI lawyers at My Rights Law. We’ll work tirelessly to defend you and protect your rights and driving privileges. To learn more, reach out to My Rights Law by calling us at (888) 702-8882 or contacting us through our secure web form.