Lusby Law P.A.
What Happens if You Don’t Perform Well on A Sobriety Test?
After a few drinks with friends, you hit the road and drive home. Then, next thing you know, there are blue and red lights flashing as a police officer asks you to pull over. Your mind starts racing a mile a minute because you aren’t sure where you went wrong and believed you were sober enough to go behind the wheel.
In this situation, the police officer might not know why they are pulling you over yet either. Maybe they think you’re impaired or maybe you just drove through a DWI checkpoint. Either way, it’s your constitutional right to not face a DWI arrest without proof of some wrongdoing or probable cause.
In the case of a DWI, the police officer will likely ask you to perform standardized field sobriety tests, including:
- Walking in a straight line with heel-to-toe steps through the walk-and-turn test
- Standing on one foot for 30 seconds through the one-leg stand test
- Following an object with your eyes through the horizontal gaze nystagmus test
These tests require specific directions and physical actions that suspects must take. In turn, if directions are unclear, the administrator doesn’t properly conduct the test or you have health limitations that prevent you from successfully carrying out the tests, then you might not perform well. And in the case of DWIs, poor performance may equate to signs of impairment and probable cause to arrest you.
For example, you might walk slightly off the line when doing the walk-and-turn test, but the officer wasn’t clear that your heel-to-toe steps should be done in a straight line or you have a hearing issue that throws off your balance. Fortunately, if you choose to take advantage of your right to challenge your arrest, then an experienced attorney and a whole host of plausible explanations why you might have shown signs of impairment while sober may help your case.