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Is it Mandatory that I complete Field Sobriety Tests During a San Diego DUI Arrest?

Many of our clients often do not complete the field sobriety tests when they are administered by authorities during a DUI arrest. Many of our clients also feel that they passed the field sobriety tests. Unfortunately, whether or not the person does well on the field sobriety tests or if they refuse to do them, it does not make a significant impact on your DUI case.

The authorities are required to observe a person that has been stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence for 15 minutes. It is in this time period that the officer will administer the field sobriety test. Based on an officer’s opinion, a person will always fail the field sobriety tests. In reality, the officer is simply observing your overall behavior and demeanor for signs of intoxication.

It is easier to understand the kind of observations the officer is making through examples. First let’s consider Dan. Dan is stopped on suspicion of DUI. The officer asks him to step out of the car and asks him to complete the routine field sobriety tests. This includes,sthe Rhomberg test, the Nystagmus Test, and the thirty second test, among the few. As Dan completes these tests, he is slurring, and keeps laughing when he messes up. It is apparent that he does not comprehend where he is and feels that it is just a game. In addition, he smells of alcohol and his eyes are watery and bloodshot.

In comparison, David is stopped for an alleged DUI. He is asked to complete the field sobriety tests, just like Dan was. David however, does not comply. He states to the officer that it is not necessary and he has not been drinking. His demeanor indicates that he is not under the influence. He does not smell of alcohol, he is not slurring is clearly capable of walking in a straight line. He is also alert and is focused on the officer.
The officer can make a rational observation that Dan may be intoxicated and he could ask him to take blood or breath test. For David, however, an experienced San Diego DUI Lawyer will make the argument that the officer had no valid observations that indicated he was intoxicated. Therefore, the officer had no reasonable cause to issue a blood alcohol test and have David arrested.

Those fifteen minutes are crucial for the officer, as it either makes or breaks his reasonable cause argument. It is also those fifteen minutes that can give the legal professional his case and can result in a possible reduction or dismissal of charges.
It is a good idea tosconsult with a San Diego Criminal Defense lawyer and discuss with them the facts of your case. The attorney will ask for all the details because it is important to your case. Be prepared with the best possible argument and defense for your case.