Why taking the field sobriety test is a bad idea.
Mr. Taylor (retired) explains why people should not take the field sobriety tests because: (1) there is no legal obligation to take them and (2) they are virtually impossible to pass. The field sobriety tests are a series of balance and coordination tests in the officer will likely ask a person to take three to five of them. There is no legal obligation to take the tests; so if pulled over, people should refuse to take them. Furthermore, based on all the attendant circumstances that are occurring during this test, including feelings of nervousness and anger, these tests are virtually impossible to pass. Even if a person is one hundred percent sober, field sobriety tests are still extremely hard to pass and in the end people will fail the test based on the subjective opinion of the officer. Most officers have already decided whether or not they are going to arrest a person before they pull them out of the car. In essence, taking tests can do next to nothing to benefit a person.
The field sobriety tests are really, or simply, a series of tests of balance and coordination, such as the walk the line, the finger to nose, the Nystagmus Test, which is a fancy scientific term for a test where the officer runs a pencil back and forth in front of your eyes. There are a lot of different tests and he will ask you to take three to five of these tests. And the reason I would suggest to you that you decline is, again, you don’t have any legal obligation to do it and you should know that they are very difficult to pass. If you’re stone sober, the average person has a lot of difficulty passing these tests, because consider the circumstances –you’re doing this, probably late at night, on the side of a road, on a sloped gravely surface perhaps, with cars traveling by you at speed, hitting you with wind waves, strobe lights from the top of the police car, a man standing there in front of you with a gun and a baton. You are extremely nervous, you’re upset, you’re frightened, and you have never done this before so you have difficulty understanding the directions and have difficulty doing it correctly. Even if, again, you’re stone sober, so they’re difficult to pass. Secondly, you won’t pass. If the officer decides to arrest you and, frankly, he decided that when he, shortly after he pulled you over and talked to you through the window if he arrests you, you will find that no matter what you did you failed in his subjective opinion, you failed those tests, he is not going to write an arrest report after arresting you and say that you passed.