Call Us 713-357-4190

When Your Future Is On The Line

Choosing The Right Attorney Can Make All The Difference

request consultation

request a consultation

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

*All Fields Required

Is It Better to Refuse to Take a Field Sobriety Test Than to Take a Chance on Being Convicted of a DWI?

Posted in Criminal Defense on November 24, 2023

You are not legally required to take field sobriety tests if you don’t want to. However, you are more likely to be arrested if you refuse the tests. Since you may be arrested anyway, many people wonder if it is better to refuse the test or risk being convicted of a DWI by taking and failing the test. The simple answer is that refusing the test does not necessarily mean you will be arrested or convicted.

However, it is possible to be arrested if you refuse to take the field sobriety test. That means that you do have a chance of being convicted. If you are arrested, get legal help from the qualified DWI lawyers at Mary E. Conn & Associates. Having quality legal help can possibly lead to your charges being dropped. Call us today for reliable, experienced, and knowledgeable defense. 

Field Sobriety Tests Aren’t Always Accurate

The problem with field sobriety tests is that they are not scientifically based or reliable. They consist of a horizontal gaze nystagmus test, a one leg stand, and a walk and turn test. However, it is entirely possible to fail any of these tests without being under the influence. In fact, many people struggle to complete the tests when they are perfectly sober. 

The tests are unreliable and an experienced DWI lawyer will know how to challenge the tests in court. Although law enforcement uses field sobriety tests to determine their next course of action and as evidence in cases, field sobriety tests make weak justifications in a court of law. If you are arrested without any further evidence beyond these tests, there is a decent chance that a good lawyer can have your case thrown out. 

Why Was I Arrested Without Taking the Field Sobriety Tests?

If you refuse to take the field sobriety tests, you can be arrested on the spot. An officer can arrest you under suspicion of being under the influence, even though they didn’t perform the tests to verify it. While it may seem an unfair or questionable practice, it is allowed as a precaution to keep people suspected of being under the influence off of the road until they sober up. 

If this happens, don’t panic and comply with the officer. It is still seen as a lawful arrest and does not mean that you will be convicted. Your case still has to go to court, and depending upon the specific details of your case, there is a reasonable chance that the case will be thrown out for lack of hard evidence. Without performing the tests, offices only have their observations of the situation and possibly video evidence of the stop, which may not be enough in most cases for a conviction. 

The police may still get a breath test or a blood test to establish your blood alcohol level, which will be used against you in court.

You May Not Be Arrested if You Refuse the Field Sobriety Test

If you refuse to take the test, you may not necessarily be arrested. Officers have to provide evidence that there was a reason to arrest you. Failing to do so could cost them their job and lead to legal trouble. If that evidence is not readily available or it is not clear that you may be under the influence, the officer may just let you go.

Another possible outcome is that the officer asks you to do a breathalyzer test. You are required to comply with this test, and you will likely be arrested if you refuse to or are unable to participate. Breathalyzers are far more reliable tests than field sobriety tests, which is why they have required participation policies. If the officer asks you to take a breathalyzer test after refusing the sobriety tests, you can refuse to participate. Keep in mind if you refuse to take the breathalyzer test your driver’s license will likely be suspended.  If you are asked to take a blood test, the officer may have a warrant for the test, in which case you have no choice but to submit to the blood test.

Discuss Your Case With a Texas DWI Lawyer

If you are concerned about the repercussions of refusing a field sobriety test, know that it is within your legal rights to do so. Being arrested is a precaution by the police, and it may not result in a DWI conviction. 

If you think that an officer should not have arrested you, discuss your case with a qualified Texas DWI lawyer. Contact Mary E. Conn & Associates at (713) 357-4190 or fill out our contact form for help with your case.

CALL US TODAY 713-357-4190