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Failed Your Sobriety Test: Now What?

Posted in Criminal Defense on November 20, 2023

If you are pulled over for drunk driving and fail the field sobriety test, it can seem that you will definitely face a DWI conviction. However, just because you failed the test does not necessarily mean that you will face a conviction. And just because you believe you failed does not mean you did.

Having a strong DWI lawyer on your side can help you develop a strong defense despite field sobriety test results. Mary E. Conn & Associates can learn more about your specific situation and build a strong defense that’s tailored to your case. Just because you failed a field sobriety test does not necessarily mean that you will get convicted and face penalties. Give us a call at (713) 357-4190 if you need help after failing a field sobriety test. 

What Is a Field Sobriety Test?

A field sobriety test is a series of tests that law enforcement uses to test if someone is under the influence. They are most often used when pulling over suspected drunk drivers. An officer will have the driver perform a series of three tests, and the results are used to determine the next steps. 

The three tests include:

  • the horizontal gaze nystagmus test (HGN)
  • the one leg stand test
  • the walk-and-turn test

These tests are controversial for their inherent problems with accuracy. It is very easy to fail the tests even if not under the influence. Because the tests return so many false positives, a skilled legal team may be able to have any charges that result from a failed sobriety test thrown out. 

Do I Have to Take Field Sobriety Tests?

If you are pulled over and suspected of being under the influence, the officer may ask you to do a field sobriety test. You are legally allowed to refuse field sobriety tests. Since they are unreliable at best, you are not required to take them. 

However, the officer may arrest you for a DWI anyway. You can fight the charges later with help from your legal team, which can help you make a decision if you are not inclined to take the tests. 

What Happens When I Fail a Field Sobriety Test?

If you participate in a field sobriety test and fail, one of two things will happen. Either the officer will have you take a breathalyzer test, or you can be arrested right away, usually for DWI. 

The results of the breathalyzer test are considered more accurate than a field sobriety test, which is why it is often the second step before an arrest. Field sobriety tests are supposed to be used as a preliminary step to see if more investigation is needed. Unfortunately, you can be arrested based solely on those results. 

The problems with field sobriety tests are becoming well-known, and lawyers are better able to deal with them. If you fail a field sobriety test, do not panic. Simply go along with what the officer decides and seek legal help as soon as you are able. If you were not under the influence, and the officer failed to complete a breathalyzer test, your lawyer may be able to have the charges dropped. Give Mary E. Conn & Associates a call so you can have a skilled lawyer on your side. 

Seek Help From a Texas DWI Law Group

While it would be better to pass a field sobriety test than to fail it, it is still possible to build a case that protects your reputation and driving record. Whether the field test can be proven unreliable or was administered wrong, a strong DWI attorney can work with you to find a way to defend yourself. All hope is not lost. 

Contact Mary E. Conn & Associates at (713) 357-4190 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation to discuss your case with one of our attorneys. Each case is different, and there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to defending against DWI cases. However, our lawyers have the experience and knowledge needed to build a strong case in your defense.

CALL US TODAY 713-357-4190