Although New York is an implied consent state – meaning that drivers consent to breath, blood or urine tests when they start a vehicle – you can refuse to take field sobriety tests without immediate consequences. This is because field sobriety tests are notoriously inaccurate, and sober people can fail them.
There are several reasons why a person might fail an FST. The officer may not administer the test properly, or the suspect may have knee or back problems that affect the results.
Unless you are confident that you will pass field sobriety tests, you should refuse to take them. If you fail, the prosecuting authority can use that as evidence against you in court.
If New York police have arrested you for driving while intoxicated, contact Darren DeUrso, Attorney at Law. As a White Plains criminal attorney, Mr. DeUrso can develop your defense and aggressively fight for a positive outcome to your case.
Call 914-772-8614 to schedule a consultation. Until then, read on to learn eight common reasons why sober people fail field sobriety tests:
- Improper Administration of Tests
According to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, police undergo extensive training to administer DWI tests. If the officer is not qualified to conduct the test, or if he or she administers the test improperly, then the results may be inaccurate.
- Knee Troubles
People with knee problems may struggle to perform field sobriety tests. For this reason, officers must ask suspects if they have existing medical conditions before administering the test.
- Back Problems
Back pain can make it impossible to pass some field sobriety tests. For example, a sore back can affect your ability to walk in a straight line or stand on one leg.
Obesity can affect a person’s performance on field sobriety tests. In fact, officers cannot ask people who are excessively overweight to perform FSTs.
- Old Age
Old age can affect a person’s mental and physical performance. Officers cannot ask people over the age of 65 to take field sobriety tests.
The mental and physical effects of exhaustion are similar to drunkenness. Slurred speech, red eyes, blurred vision and balance difficulties may be symptoms of fatigue rather than intoxication.
A traffic stop is an intimidating experience, which can affect mental and physical performance. If you feel jittery or nervous after being pulled over, you should not take a field sobriety test.
- Miscommunication of Instructions
The nervousness that accompanies a traffic stop can make it difficult for suspects to understand instructions. Sometimes officers provide incorrect instructions, which can cause a person to fail an FST.
If you are facing DWI charges in New York, contact Darren DeUrso, Attorney at Law. Mr. DeUrso is a White Plains criminal lawyer who can help you navigate an unpredictable legal system. He has been in practice for 25 years and has served as an assistant district attorney for Westchester County. Call 914-772-8614 to schedule a consultation.