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Field Sobriety Tests

Did You Fail a Field Sobriety Test in Santa Barbara?

How Do Field Sobriety Tests Factor in DUI Cases?

When building a defense against field sobriety tests in DUI cases, the question remains whether or not these tests are effective or not are determining someone’s level of intoxication? Appel & Morse has handled hundreds of cases involving DUI charges. When we investigate further into the matter, we look at why the person failed the test and explore every avenue for a possible defense.

We urge you to contact Appel & Morse if you are facing DUI charges. We are here to help you fight!

Are Field Sobriety Tests Fair?

Field sobriety tests (FST’s) are not required by law. Every driver has the right to refuse an FST, although most police officers will not usually tell the person they are arresting that they do not have to participate. Field sobriety tests will measure one’s ability to concentrate, maintain balance, one’s short-term memory. Although law enforcement will not always rely solely on field sobriety tests, the evidence that is uncovered can be used against someone in trial.

These tests include the following:

  • The one-leg stand
  • The walk-and-turn
  • The horizontal nystagmus

None of these tests are foolproof nor are they are entirely accurate in telling whether or not someone is intoxicated. Furthermore, there may be many reasons that people fail the test, and it may be simply due to physical limitations or health concerns, as examples. Our Santa Barbara DUI attorneys can challenge the results of these field sobriety tests, knowing that the evidence that they provide may unreliable.

Can You Say No to a Field Sobriety Test?

You are allowed to refuse a field sobriety test if an officer asks you to take one. You cannot be prosecuted for refusing a field sobriety test unlike the chemical test. Field sobriety tests are not scientific. Police officers typically use them as a basis for a DUI arrest. A police officer may tell you that you are required to take this test, but this is not true – only the chemical test is required, and that is only if you have been arrested. When you take a field sobriety test, you are under the officer's subjective judgment. Police officers can use the results of your field sobriety tests to make an arrest, which will then require you to take a chemical test. Being cooperative and polite with the police officer can reduce your chances of being arrested.

Arrested? Call Now for a Free Consult!

You have the right to know about your legal rights, especially if you are facing a DUI charge. If you know that the evidence against you is weak. This is often what leads to false criminal accusations. Do not wait to seek legal counsel if you have been arrested. Appel & Morse can help you! We have extensive trial experience, and we do everything in our power to fight for our clients’ best interests.

Schedule your free case review today. Our criminal defense firm is proud to fight for you!

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At Appel & Morse, we work to ensure our clients understand what is happening with their cases and how to best defend their interests. Our mission is to obtain the best results based on a true understanding of each client's unique circumstances.