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Should you participate in field sobriety tests in a DUI stop?

Did you know that some of the people who failed field sobriety tests were sober at the time? You heard right. For every three sober people (whether here in Pennsylvania or elsewhere) who submit to them during a DUI stop, one of them will fail. Will it be you?

It may surprise you to know that you do not have to participate in those tests. Implied consent applies to the breath test, but not to field sobriety tests. That does not stop police officers from trying to convince drivers that they have to submit to them.

You actually could have more to lose if you take the tests, even if you are sober. With a one in three chance of failing the tests, you could find yourself under arrest for DUI. Sure, a breath test may clear your name and result in a dismissal of the charges, but you could still have an arrest on your record.

The primary issue with field sobriety tests is that an officer's subjectivity greatly influences the results. Many officers begin the tests from the standpoint that you are guilty. Instead of the officer being responsible for proving your guilt, you end up trying to prove your innocence.

If this advice came too late for you, all is not lost. Supposedly "failing" field sobriety tests happens a lot, and other evidence or an attack on the testing during your DUI arrest could eliminate any importance the officer placed on them at the time, which may also make the probable cause for your arrest suspect. Navigating the criminal justice system alone could prove to be a mistake. In order to give you the chance at the best outcome possible, you may benefit from discussing your situation with a Pennsylvania DUI attorney.

Source: alcoholproblemsandsolutions.org, "Never Take a Field Sobriety Test Say DUI Lawyers", Accessed on Jan. 8, 2018

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