It’s Friday night. You meet a couple friends at a local Austin bar. You have 2 drinks, listen to some music, and share some laughs. A few hours later you leave, get in your car, and begin to drive home.
Stopped By Police
After a few minutes on the road, you notice red and blues in your rearview mirror. You’re not intoxicated, but it’s 1am on a weekend, and you just left a bar. Nervousness sets in.
Officer Begins To Question You
Moments later, a police officer walks up to your car and says you were speeding, 55 in a 50. Officer asks where you’ve been. You say, in an attempt to be honest, “I just left a bar, met some friends there.” Officer asks if you had anything to drink. You say, “I had a couple beers.” Officer then asks you to step out of the car.
Officer’s Police Report
The officer will later note in their police report that you had red bloodshot eyes and a strong odor of alcohol coming from your person.
The Consequences Of Performing Field Sobriety Tests
The officer will then tell you that he or she wants you to perform some tests to see if you are good to drive home. In reality, this is not what the officer is doing. You will likely be arrested no matter how you perform on these tests. The officer is only attempting to get more evidence against you. You can and should refuse these field sobriety tests They are not scientific, have no business being performed on the side of the road, and can only hurt your case.
Types of Field Sobriety Tests
There are 3 standardized field sobriety tests (SFST’s) the officer will have you perform.
The first one is the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN). An officer is looking for involuntary jerking in your eyes. There are six so-called clues (3 in each eye). 4 clues equal failing. An officer almost always gives you 6/6 clues in their report. Studies have shown large error rates in this test. Refuse this test.
The second test is the Walk and Turn (WAT). This test requires you to take 9 heel-to-toe steps, turn on one foot and walk back the same way. There are 8 possible clues. 2 clues equal failing. An officer will always find 2 or more and say you failed. Refuse this test.
The third test is the One Leg Stand (OLS). An officer will ask you to stand for 30 second on one foot, with your foot 6 inches off the ground while counting out loud. There are 4 clues on this test. 2 equal failing. An officer will always say you failed. Refuse this test.
Roadside Tests Are Designed For Failure
The field sobriety tests are no more than roadside gymnastics. They are being recorded. They are there to make you look ridiculous and intoxicated. They are designed for failure. Many people stone cold sober cannot pass these tests.
If you are nervous, on the side of the road, in the middle of the night, concerned about being arrested, and in front of an armed police officer, you will likely fail them too.
Our Firm Knows How To Attack These Tests
However, if you did attempt these tests, our firm knows how to attack the junk science behind them. The tests must be performed a certain way by the officer. DWI attorney’s Brad Vinson and Jarrod Smith have taken the same certification course for SFST’s the officers have taken. We are certified to perform these tests and know how to fight them.
Arrested for DWI
After you finish these tests, the officer will either ask you to blow into a portable breath test (which, due to it being unreliable, is not admissible against you) or will arrest you right then for DWI.
Officer Reads You The Statutory Warnings (DIC-24)
Once you are arrested, the officer will read you the DIC-24. This is your statutory warnings and informs you of the consequences (Driver License suspension) of failing to provide a breath or blood specimen.
Officer Asks You For A Breath Or Blood Sample
The officer will then ask for a sample of your breath and/or blood. If you refuse to provide a sample, the officer might obtain a warrant from an on-call judge and force you to give a sample of your blood for forensic testing.
You will then be booked into the jail and processed. A bond will be set and you will be given a court date to attend.
Assert Your Constitutional Rights By Refusing
This scenario has played out many times in Austin and in cities and towns all across Texas. You get pulled over for a minor traffic violation. You are nervous. You admit to drinking. No matter how cooperative and polite you are, you are likely going to jail for DWI. This is why we ask that you don’t help build the officer’s case for them. Be polite but assert your constitutional rights!
Give Smith & Vinson Law Firm A Call
If you have been arrested for DWI, give our firm a call (512-368-9044). We dedicate a large percentage of our practice to helping people accused of this crime. We will fight the government tooth and nail to make sure you get your life back.