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What Does a Field Sobriety Test in Idaho Entail?


If you get pulled over in Boise, Idaho, the cops are going to check to see if you’ve been drinking or using drugs. It doesn’t matter what the initial reason was for the traffic stop. Police officers always gauge whether a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Part of the reason officers do this is to make sure their roads are safe for other drivers. They also have an obligation to uphold the law. If they pull someone over and suspect they’re intoxicated, they’re going to question them.

If a cop thinks you’ve been drinking or using drugs, he’s going to ask you a few questions. First, he’s going to ask you straight out if you’ve been drinking or using drugs. He’s not so concerned with your answer. He wants to see if you get nervous. He’s also looking to see if you’re going to be honest.

A cop, for the most part, already knows if you’ve under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They are a lot of telltale signs that a person is under the influence. But by asking you these questions, he gets a chance to gauge a few things:

  • Are you going to be honest?
  • Do you get nervous?
  • Do you refuse to answer the questions?
  • Is your speech slurred?
  • Do you give conflicting answers to his questions?

If he has a feeling you’ve been drinking, he’s going to have you get out of the car. At this point, he’s going to ask you to undergo a field sobriety test.

When it comes to the field sobriety test, your Boise DUI defense attorney would suggest you do what the officer says. If you refuse to do so, your lawyer won’t be able to help you later on. The law says that anyone who refuses the field sobriety test or breathalyzer can automatically be arrested for DUI. Your license will also be suspended for up to a year. This is true even if you end up not being drunk at the time of the traffic stop.

What’s the Typical Field Sobriety Test Involve?

When an officer suspects you’ve been drinking, he’s going to have you perform a field sobriety test. There are several components to this test. For the most part, officers all conduct the same kind of tests. This is true whether you’re in Idaho or Alaska.

Some of the common parts of a field sobriety test include:

  • Follow the penlight with your eye
  • Walk heel to toe ten feet in two different directions
  • Stand on one foot while the other stays raised in the air for up to thirty (30) seconds
  • Read the alphabet backwards
  • Touch the tip of your nose with a finger

Some officers won’t administer every one of these tests. And, if you can’t pass the first part of the test, he won’t even finish the test. Once he’s been convinced you’re drunk, he won’t go on to the other parts.

And, don’t think you’re “passing” the test just because the officer has you do the entire test. He may just be looking for what he considers objective evidence of your intoxication.

Your Boise DUI defense attorney will question whether any of this evidence is really objective. The way the officer gives instructions can be misleading. There are also parts of the test that are very difficult to pass whether you’ve been drinking or not. Finally, weather conditions can contribute to poor performance on the test. So can being overtired or under the influence of a valid prescription medication.

Your Boise DUI Defense Attorney Will Challenge the Field Sobriety Test

If you perform poorly on the field sobriety test, your Boise DUI attorney will challenge the results. There are lots of things that can cause someone to perform poorly on the test. Some of these factors include:

  • Weather conditions
  • Time of night
  • Being overtired
  • Vision issues
  • Balance issues
  • Medical conditions
  • Age
  • Taking valid and legal prescription medications
  • Nerves

If your lawyer can prove that these things affected your performance, he may be able to get your DUI charges reduced or dismissed.

Contact a Boise DUI Defense Attorney Today

If you’re facing DUI charges, you need to call a Boise DUI defense attorney right away. You won’t have a lot of time to prepare for your first hearing. You don’t want to go to court alone. The judge treats people differently when they don’t have a lawyer. This may not be fair, but it’s the truth.

Call today and schedule your initial consultation with an experienced Boise DUI defense attorney.