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Field Sobriety Test

If you are pulled over by law enforcement and suspected of driving under the influence, it is not uncommon for them to ask you to take a field sobriety test. Many people wonder what would happen if they took the test, what it entails, and what the consequences could be.

What is a Field Sobriety Test?

A field sobriety test is a series of physical and cognitive exercises that law enforcement officers use to determine whether or not an individual is impaired by alcohol or drugs. The three standardized tests typically used in the United States are the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN), walk-and-turn (WAT), and one-leg stand (OLS) tests. The HGN test checks for involuntary eye movements, while the WAT and OLS tests examine balance, coordination, and cognitive function.

Should You Take a Field Sobriety Test?

It's important to note that field sobriety tests are voluntary. You have the right to refuse them without any legal consequences. However, refusing a chemical breathalyzer test can automatically suspend your driver's license in many states. If you decide to take the field sobriety test, remember that its results can be used as evidence against you in court.

What Happens During a Field Sobriety Test?

During a field sobriety test, an officer will give you verbal instructions on performing each exercise and then observe your performance. They will look for signs of impairment, such as swaying or stumbling during the WAT or OLS tests or jerking eye movements during the HGN test. If an officer suspects that you are impaired based on your performance on the field sobriety test, they may arrest you and ask for a chemical breathalyzer test.

Consequences of Failing a Field Sobriety Test

Failing a field sobriety test does not necessarily mean you are guilty of driving under the influence. However, if you are arrested and charged with DUI, the test results can be used as evidence against you in court. In addition to legal consequences such as fines and potential jail time, failing a field sobriety test can also result in increased insurance rates, damage to your reputation, and other personal consequences.

Field Sobriety Test Attorney in Austin, TX

If you or a loved one has been subjected to a field sobriety test and are facing DUI/DWI charges in Austin, TX, remember that you have rights and options. At Smith & Vinson Law Firm, we specialize in criminal defense and are dedicated to providing you with the robust legal representation you deserve. Our experienced attorneys understand the complexities of DUI/DWI cases and will work tirelessly to defend your rights. Contact us at (512) 359-3743 to discuss your case and explore your legal options. Don't let one mistake define your future—reach out to us today!

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