Driving under the influence is a serious matter that could have long-lasting consequences for your life. The offense will stay with you. If you have been arrested and the officer suspects that you have been drinking, they may ask you to submit to a sobriety test. But – do you have to accept? You must know your rights.

Field Sobriety Test vs. Breathalyzer Test

There’s a difference between the two tests that may be administered if law enforcement suspects you’re intoxicated while driving. Field sobriety tests such as the horizontal gaze nystagmus test and the walk and turn test are often used by law enforcement to secure probable cause to arrest you for driving while intoxicated.

The results of the field sobriety test are determined by law enforcement’s opinion of your performance. You have the right to decline to take these highly subjective tests. With that being said, most law enforcement officers will take you to the station to receive a breathalyzer or blood sample if you refuse a field sobriety test. Even if you refuse the field sobriety test, that doesn’t mean law enforcement will let you drive home with no consequences. Your options other than accepting a field sobriety test are politely declining the test, or you can consult your attorney about the situation for some legal advice.

The breathalyzer test can be administered on-site or at the station. A breathalyzer requires you to blow air into a small tube that calculates your blood alcohol content. If you blow 0.08% or above, you are over the legal limit and will be arrested for a DUI. While the field sobriety test isn’t technically required, if law enforcement asks you to take a breathalyzer test, you should take it. Refusal of a breathalyzer test or blood test can result in a misdemeanor and suspension of your license.

Field Sobriety Tests Can Be Subjective

It is important to note that there are many factors that can alter the results of a sobriety test. Defective equipment, improper administration of the test, and medical conditions all have the power to affect the outcome of a sobriety test. If you believe that your sobriety tests may have produced inaccurate results, contact a Missouri DWI attorney for assistance. They may be able to help you suppress the test results in court.