When is it a Good Idea to Take the Field Sobriety Test in a DUI Stop?

Contrary to popular belief,sa field sobriety test is not always mandatory in a DUI arrest. The field sobriety test is the blood alcohol test that is required by officers at the scene of the DUI stop. They will often ask if you will blow in a breathalyzer so that they can get a reading on your BAC. Oftentimes many people refuse this test, and there are no consequences for doing so. It is not required, and may give officers additional evidence against you. However, any BAC test administered at the station are recommended to be taken.

Nevertheless, there are some situations in which the field sobriety test maysbe a good idea to take. One such incident is when there may be a rising alcohol defense. The rising alcohol defense is a defense that may be raised by your Southern California criminal attorney that may result in a reduction or dismissal of the charges being brought against you.

A person must be intoxicated at the time they are operating a vehicle for them to be arrested and convicted for driving under the influence. A rising alcohol defense implies that at the time the person was driving, or got behind the wheel, they were not intoxicated. The general assumption is that when a person first starts drinking, the alcohol has not entered their blood stream, and they are not yet intoxicated. They gradually become intoxicated as time passes. Many different factors will also influence how quickly a person becomes intoxicated including metabolism, gender, diet, and tolerance.sSo then, there may be situations in which the person that is driving is not yet intoxicated,sbut may be an hour from ingesting the first drink.

Let’s consider an example. David is going out with some friends. Everyone comes over to his place before they head out, and right before David leaves his apartment, he takes 4 shots of rum. He then offers to drive everyone to the bar, which is about 2 miles away. When David gets into his car, approximately one minute after taking the shots, he is not yet intoxicated because the alcohol has not yet entered his blood stream. In general, if David drives to the bar, which will take him about 2 minutes, he will likely not be intoxicated until he has been at the bar for atleast 10 to 15 minutes. The argument then is that David was not drunk or intoxicated while he was driving to the bar and therefore, is not guilty of a DUI.

If David had been stopped by officers right after leaving his apartment, it would be a good idea for David to take the field sobriety test. The reason being, that at that point in time, his blood alcohol level will be low, as the alcohol has not yet entered his blood stream. If officers take him into custody, and book him at the station, but the time they request an additional BAC test at the station, David’s blood alcohol will have jumped a significant amount, because the shots of rum he had taken are now starting to have an effect on him. This is the rising alcohol defense. The argument that while driving, the driver was not intoxicated, and only became so when time had passed.

If you feel that you may have a valid rising blood alcohol defense, it is best to speak to a knowledgeable Los Angeles DUI lawyer so that you are fully aware of your options and defenses.