Saturday, March 8, 2014

Ithaca DWI Lawyer Should You Refuse to Do the Police Field Sobriety Tests?



You know as I get older, I hate to say old but walking a straight line, standing on one leg, and closing my eyes with my head extended can all be dangerous tasks. A client recently joked as I gingerly walked over the icy streets, "hey what are you so worried about?" Hey you take a fall and you don't bounce like you used to, that's what!

Yes I must admit my balance, my one legged leg strength and my equilibrium ain't what they used to be. In fact, I'll go as far to say that a great many of my bodily systems need some "assistance" from time to time.

So what has all this to do with the Police Field Sobriety Tests?

The tests can be difficult even for those that are sober.
The tests can be difficult with those who has back, legs, and hip problems.
The tests can be difficult with those who have balance and equilibrium issues.
The tests are arbitrary indicators at best.
At their worst they are highly subjective, skewed, and biased towards failure.

THE GOOD

First question, Can YOU refuse to take them? Yes
Can you legally refuse to take them? Without getting any tickets, violations, or offenses issued against YOU, YOU can refuse them all!

THE BAD 

Should YOU refuse them completely? I would say yes

Should YOU attempt them, and then stop if YOU are doing poorly? Don't even begin them because failing at them is far worse then just exerting your constitutional rights. After all, doing anything part way (half-assed) is usually a bad thing.

THE UGLY

The worst thing about refusing these tests is a Jury Instruction against YOU at trial.

This will infer that your reason for not taking them is a guilty conscious or a desire to be secretive. To not reveal your physical condition to the police. That you are somehow hiding something or got something to hide.

I believe that many people could also infer that many of us have two left feet, are uncoordinated, and have numerous health issues. All of these things could affect your performance negatively on these agility maneuvers.

Always consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses.

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newman.lawrence@gmail.com
607-229-5184

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