Pros and Cons of Taking a Field Sobriety Test in Ohio

Once the officer stops you and suspects you’re DUI or OVI, the officer may try to get you to agree to take a field sobriety test. Regardless of what the law enforcement official may try to tell you, field sobriety tests are not mandatory.

The point of the officer’s observation of you is to determine if there is probable cause to arrest you for DUI or OVI. These tests can be tricky to pass even stone cold sober, and evaluation of them is entirely subjective. Keep in mind too, that most police cruisers are equipped with video recording equipment.

Typically, officers will administer one, two, or all three of the following field sobriety tests:

Walk and turn: In this test the officer will ask you to take nine steps in a straight line, walking heel to toe, then turn on a single foot and walk back the same way.

Horizontal gaze nystagmus:  When this test is administered, the officer is trying to determine if there is an involuntary jerking of your eyes and if you are unable to smoothly follow an object left and right with your eyes.

One-leg stand: In this test you’ll be told to stand on one leg and count until instructed to stop, while the officer looks for imbalance.

Just to be clear, you are not required to take field sobriety tests, however, if you are arrested, you may be required to take chemical tests – such as blood, breath or urine tests – or face losing your driver’s license.

The “pros and cons” of taking the tests depend entirely on your individual circumstances. If you have you been drinking at all, these tests may be very difficult to pass. If you refuse to take the field sobriety tests, you may still be arrested. Once arrested, police can require you to take chemical tests – breath, blood or urine tests – to determine your level (if any) of intoxication. If the chemical tests show you are not over the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) level, and you did not take the field sobriety tests, you may have cause to claim false arrest.

Do You Need a Reliable OVI/DUI Defense Attorney Columbus, Ohio?

If you’re facing DUI or OVI charges in Columbus, Ohio, you need an experienced attorney well versed in sobriety tests that will review your case and create a strategy to either win the case or mitigate the potential damage to your record. This will protect your driving record, your license, and possibly even your livelihood. The skilled, trusted legal representation at Probst Law Office offers the help you need to be sure you have the best representation possible in fighting DUI/OVI charges.  Get the experience that you need and deserve when you hire Michael Probst as your attorney.  Contact Michael today for your free consultation, or call now at 614-232-8890.