There is no perfect answer to that question as every situation is unique.
In most situations, however, it is thought that it is better to refuse
field sobriety tests if a driver has consumed alcohol. A driver has the
right to refuse sobriety tests in Washington state. There are three
standardized field sobriety tests
in Washington state:
- The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test (an eye test)
- The nine step Walk and Turn Test (a balance and agility test)
- The 30-second One Leg Stand Test (a balance and counting test)
Per NHTSA, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Association, each test
must be instructed in a standardized way and scored in a standardized
way for the tests to be valid and therefore relevant in court.
In handling literally hundreds of
cases as a
Lynnwood DUI attorney,
I routinely find that officers mis-instruct and mis-score these tests,
making the results unfair and unwarranted for the driver. As a Lynnwood
DUI Lawyer, I have taken the same field sobriety test training as the
officers, being certified at both the student level (four day class -
what all officers must take) and the instructor level (3 days of additional
training - what some more advanced traffic officers take). This means
that I know exactly how the tests should be instructed and scored. In
some cities, such as in a Lynnwood DUI, or a Seattle DUI, the officers
often have video cameras in their cars which works to our advantage in
catching their mistakes. In cities without cameras, such as in an Edmonds
DUI or a Shoreline DUI, we must rely on the testimony of the officer,
either in court, or at the Department of Licensing (DOL) hearing.
Given that in my aggressive Washington DUI defense I often find these mistakes,
it is usually best to refuse field sobriety tests. If you wish to find
more information on Washington DUI defense, browse the rest of my website.
Still, there is no substitute for personal one-on-one advice from an experienced
Washington DUI attorney. If you are charged with a Lynnwood DUI or a Washington
DUI it is best to
as soon as possible so that we can discuss how the field sobriety tests
were instructed, where they took place, what you were wearing, etc., while
the events of the incident are still fresh in your head. Call me now and
I'll be there for you.
Lynnwood criminal attorney Lance Fryrear is here to help.