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Are Field Sobriety Tests Required in a Tulsa DUI Investigation?

Police officer holding a pen and doing a field sobriety test on a motorist. Tulsa DUI Lawyer

If you are pulled over by the police or highway patrol and they suspect you are driving under the influence, they will more than likely ask (or most likely tell) you to perform field sobriety tests.


Did you know that you are not required to participate in any field sobriety tests? The police are counting on your not knowing this.


In fact, when most people politely decline to perform any field sobriety tests police officers and state troopers will try to coerce and persuade the person into doing the tests. In some cases, the police will order a person to do the field sobriety tests and threaten them with arrest for failure to comply if they do not.


But the simple fact is, just because you are being investigated for a Tulsa DUI, you don't have to partake in the field sobriety tests. If an officer pulls you over and asks you to take any field sobriety tests, politely tell him that you do not want to do any field sobriety tests and you would like to call your Tulsa DUI lawyer, Robert Denton.


If they insist, then again politely decline the request to do any field sobriety tests. Remember, the officer is not offering the tests to prove you are innocent. Their job is to arrest people, so they are looking for any evidence that would justify them arresting you for a Tulsa DUI.


So what are some of the field sobriety tests you might be asked to perform if you are being investigated for a Tulsa DUI?


Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs)

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus


An officer will ask you to follow a pen or other object with your eyes.  When our eyes turn to the side, they jerk or bounce slightly.  An intoxicated person’s eye jerks before looking 45 degrees to either side.  If performed properly by the officer, this test is just over 75% accurate.


Walk and Turn


This test makes you take nine heel to toe steps in a straight line.  It’s a divided attention test because you must also count out loud and follow officer instructions.  Officers look for different clues such as starting before instructed, stepping off the line, using arms for balance, turning improperly, or taking the wrong number of steps.  When administered properly by the officer, this test is approximately 68% accurate.


One Leg Stand


This test is also a divided attention test.  You must stand with feet together and then lift one foot six inches off the ground.  Officers give instructions while you maintain balance.  Typically, you’re also required to count during this test until told to stop.  The officer is checking for swaying, losing balance, putting your foot down, using your arms for balance, etc.  This test is about 65% accurate if the officer administers it properly.


Portable Breath Test


This is a non-standardized field sobriety test. This means that any evidence gathered through this test cannot be used as evidence of guilt in court, but rather can only be used by the officer in determining if he believes you are under the influence.


The portable breath test should not be confused with the "State's Test". The "State's Test" is the breath, blood, or urine test that is required by law of each person arrested for a DUI, DWI, or APC in the State of Oklahoma.


If a person refuses to take the "State's Test" after being arrested, they are looking at 24 months of a modified license at least. The portable breath test is a handheld breathalyzer that tests for the presence of alcohol in your breath. These machines are not calibrated regularly and are not reliable.


You gain no benefit from agreeing to take the portable breath test. Simply tell the officer that you are not taking the portable breath test. However, if you are arrested, you should consider the consequences of refusing the "State's Test". Many times the driver's license consequences for refusing the "State's Test" for a first time DUI defendant are more severe than the criminal punishment.


Why You Should NOT Take FSTs  - Trust a Tulsa DUI Lawyer


Police officers only ask for field sobriety tests when they already suspect you of a Tulsa DUI.  And since they subjectively administer and score the tests, you’re subject to the determinations of an already biased jury of one. 


There are many issues that can arise with field sobriety tests and portable breath tests.  They aren’t perfect evidence!  That’s why you need an experienced attorney, one who’s worked on over 1,000 DUI cases.  Call Robert Denton, Tulsa DUI Defense Attorney.  He’s ready to help you today.  (918) 221-3991.


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Tulsa DUI Attorney Robert Denton

You probably have questions about your recent DUI arrest. We understand. Tulsa DUI Lawyer Robert Denton knows exactly what you should do and how you should do it to get your life back under control. As a former prosecutor, he knows the ins and outs of DUI cases. If you want to get your life back, give Robert Denton a call and hire the Tulsa DUI Attorney who can help you put your life back together. 

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