If you are pulled over while driving in Connecticut, and a police officer suspects that you are driving under the influence, they may ask you to comply with testing. They may ask you to take a breath test or the standardized field sobriety tests. You can refuse any testing asked of you, and in many cases you should. On this page, you can learn more about the standardized field sobriety tests and why it is a good idea to refuse them.
The Role of Implied Consent
In Connecticut, there is something called the implied consent law that oftentimes applies to DUI stops. The implied consent law states that by driving on a Connecticut road, you implicitly consent to being tested for alcohol through the use of a breath testing device. If a police officer asks you to take a breath test and you refuse, this is a violation of the implied consent law. It means an automatic license suspension, even if you are not convicted of a DUI.
However, standardized field sobriety tests do not fall under the implied consent law. This means that there is no automatic penalty for refusing to perform the standardized field sobriety tests. While the police might try to bully you into taking these tests, remember that you have the right to refuse and in many cases it is a good idea to do so.
Call us today to schedule a free consultation with my team. Hope will not fix your Connecticut DUI charge. Contacting us can!
Why Refuse the Tests?
In short, you should refuse to take standardized field sobriety tests because they are designed to make you fail. There are so many things that can go wrong with these tests and cause a bad score for you that have nothing to do with alcohol impairment. For example, police officers need to be trained in the specific way to administer these tests. Oftentimes they give improper instructions or do not demonstrate what they need you to do in order to properly pass the tests. If you don’t understand the instructions given, it may result in a bad score.
In addition, there are many environmental factors that can impact the scoring. For example, the weather conditions, what you are wearing, your physical health, where the tests are administered, etc. can all impact the score. However, these issues are not attributed to outside factors. The police officer will simply score you based on the criteria and it will indicate intoxication even if you are not under the influence.
It is very difficult to pass the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk-and-turn test, and the one-leg stand test and these are not perfect indicators of intoxication.
If you refuse the standardized field sobriety tests, there will not be evidence that can be used against you in court. However, refusal could upset the police officer or cause a jury to think that you have something to hide. It is best to contact a DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible to establish the right defense for your situation. If you did take these tests, a good lawyer can also refute the results using the additional factors mentioned above. For more information, contact us.