Field sobriety tests are typically used when an individual is suspected of driving while drunk or under the influence of mind-altering substances. The tests are used to determine whether an individual has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more, which is the legal standard of intoxication. Failing the test could lead to a DUI charge. In Oklahoma, you can refuse the test, but there are certain drawbacks to this decision.
Standardized field sobriety tests
A standardized test is one in which certain tasks or questions are administered to the test taker. The scoring procedures for a standardized test are the same for everyone who takes the test. The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines three parts of a standardized field sobriety test used to determine if a person could be charged with a DUI:
- The horizontal gaze nystagmus test, which is the test of the involuntary jerking of the eyeball when the eyes move from side to side to track an object
- The walk-and-turn test, where the subject must take nine steps from heel to toe in one direction, turn and walk back in the same fashion
- The one-leg stand test, where the subject must stand with one foot about 6 inches off the ground and count out loud until the officer instructs the person to put their foot down
Refusing a field sobriety test
While you can technically refuse to take a field sobriety test, you will likely be refusing to cooperate with the police, which can result in your arrest. The officer will try to convince you to take the test to build a DUI case for your arrest. If you are arrested for refusing to take the field sobriety test, you may be required to take a sobriety test when you are arrested and taken to the police station. Tests at the police station are designed to show intoxication if you don’t pass perfectly.
If you are charged with DUI, it’s important to know your legal options. Working with a qualified DUI lawyer may help you clear your record help you get back on the road safely.