If you get pulled over for a traffic stop, the cops will always check to see if they’re drinking or using drugs. Most of the time, it’s pretty obvious. Cops are trained to notice the signs and symptoms of alcohol and drug use. You could get pulled over for failing to use a turn signal. Once the cops have you pulled over, they can check you for just about anything. If they see alcohol or drugs in plain view, they can search your car. If they smell weed or alcohol, they can detain you. Once the officer suspects you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol, he’s going to have you get out of the car. He’s going to ask you to do a field sobriety test. You have the option of saying yes or no. However, if you say no, there will be consequences.
If you fail the sobriety test or refuse to take it, you’ll be arrested for DUI. If this happens, you’re going to need to call a Boise DUI attorney.
What Happens if You Refuse to Take the Field Sobriety Test?
In just about every state in this country, the penalty for refusing the field sobriety test is the same. By accepting a driver’s license (or by using the state’s roads) you consent to a field sobriety test. The state has an interest in keeping their roads safe. Therefore, they have a right to conduct the test if they suspect you’re under the influence.
If you refuse to take the field sobriety test, you’ll be arrested for DUI. Your driver’s license will also automatically be suspended for a year. This suspension will stay in place even if your DUI charges or dismissed. The penalty is for refusing the test – not for driving while drunk.
The officer isn’t required to tell you that this is the penalty. You’re expected to know this on your own. Often what happens is, someone refuses to take the test. Once they realize they’re being hauled off to jail, they ask for another chance to take the test. Most police officers aren’t going to grant this second chance.
When you go to court, the judge will ask if you refused to take the test. If you admit that you refused, more than likely, the suspension will stay in effect. Your Boise DUI attorney may be able to work out a deal with the prosecutor where the suspension is dropped, but this is rare.
Your Boise DUI Defense Lawyer Will Challenge the Results of the Field Sobriety Test
If you fail the field sobriety test, your experienced DUI lawyer in Boise can challenge the results in court. There is a lot of criticism of the field sobriety test. It is subjective. Any subjective test can be skewed in the favor of the police. They can also be difficult for certain people to perform.
Your Boise DUI lawyer will argue the following in order to challenge the field sobriety test:
- You were on medication that made it difficult to do the test
- You were overtired and that is why you performed poorly
- The instructions were unclear
- You actually did perform well on the test despite the officer’s report
- Also, you asked for the officer to clarify the instructions and he failed to do so
- You didn’t understand the instructions and voiced this concern
If any of these things caused you to perform poorly on the test, your lawyer will make this argument. Since the test is subjective, there is always room for interpretation. When your lawyer meets with the prosecutor, he’ll raise these concerns and try to get your charges dismissed or reduced.
The field sobriety test is supposed to be videotaped. If for some reason that tape is missing, your lawyer will push to get the charges dismissed. If the video is interrupted for any reason, he’ll demand that the charges be dismissed. Basically, if there is no proof that you filed the test, he’ll push for you to be cleared of all charges.
Contact a Boise DUI Lawyer Today
If you’ve been arrested for DUI, there’s a lot at stake. You could be facing jail time and hefty fines. You’ll also be facing a suspension of your driver’s license. This is almost a guarantee. You’ll want to call an experienced DUI lawyer in Boise to defend you.
Your lawyer will talk to the prosecutor and try to get the charges reduced or dismissed. He’ll look at the field sobriety test and see if there are any issues with the test. If there are, this will be a good basis to get your charges dismissed.