The Police Officer Said I Passed the Field Sobriety Tests, But I Still Got Arrested
Perhaps you were stopped by a police officer for DWI and asked to take the field sobriety tests. So what if after the test, the police officer tells you that you have passed the test. What should you do? To answer the question, the first thing which you have to do is to understand the field sobriety tests and the legal implications that are attached to it.
Understanding the Field Sobriety test
In Louisiana, the field sobriety tests are normally divided into three parts. They include:
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN)
The horizontal gaze is quite easy. This test would require a police officer to put a light or a pen towards your eyes. Now, he or she would move the light horizontally to check movements with your eye. If your eyes are what we like to refer to as lazy eyes, the probability of the police officer getting a bad reading would be a very high percentage.
The walk and turn assessment
This is also known as the divided attention test. This is very popular as it is the test which requires people to move following a straight line that has been drawn. This test would require that you walk taking about 9 steps front, then turn and do the same backward. The reason for this test is to test if you are intoxicated. If you are, you would most likely be unable to pass these tests.
The one leg stand
This test is out to assess the possibility that your alcohol intake has affected your body’s balance. This test would require that your legs should be held at least six inches from the ground. Once this has been done, you would be asked by the officer to count along with the alphabets until he is satisfied. Any signs of hopping or swaying from side to side could work against you. If you should also get the alphabets all wrong, this would be a sign of intoxication by you.
So what if the policeman tells you that you passed the test?
If you pass the tests, then that is great news and you should be on your way. However, the truth is that it does not always end that way.
Most times, police officers lie about passing the tests in order not alarm the arrestee. It would also give them a chance to ask for a breath analyzer which would often serve to confirm their claim that you are drunk and driving. So it is important to make sure that you do not get fooled by a police officer and get yourself all wrapped up in a DWI arrest or even a DWI charge.
Remember, the police officer is there to collect evidence of your impairment and build a case. He is not your buddy.
You may think you passed the field sobriety tests, but really you just gave the officer evidence of your impairment.
Know your rights
While it might be a tad intimidating to be stopped by a policeman for signs of drinking while driving, it is important that you know your rights concerning this in Louisiana. If you are asked to take a field sobriety test, you have the right to refuse the test in Louisiana especially if you feel that the test may be incriminating.
However, sometimes, you might still be arrested for DWI even without the test. This would be in situations where the police officer alleges that he has some evidence that shows that you were under the influence of alcohol while driving. However, you can breathe easy knowing that you have a good fighting chance in course as there is no field sobriety added to the evidence of the policeman.
It is important to note that you should never allow any police officer to make you take a field sobriety test by force. If you have ever faced such intimidation in Baton Rouge, you should make sure that you get yourself a DWI attorney in Baton Rouge. Here at Carl Barkemeyer, we would be happy to help you get justice. We believe in the rights of our clients and would do everything that we can to make sure that this right is protected in the court of law.
The flaws in the Field Sobriety tests
While the field sobriety tests can be quite frustrating, it is important to know that this test is not precise and accurate. There are several flaws which you might use to help yourself if the police officer claims that you have failed the test. Here are some of them;
You can bring up the claim that the officer that ran the field sobriety tests on you did not administer it well and that the results were false. This can be used if the DWI issue reaches the court of law.
You should also remember that this test is not even legal in Louisiana. This is because of how subjective it is. It rests on the opinion of the police officer to tell if you are drunk or not. The police offers are men or women that are also imperfect and can make mistakes. So this can also be a useful tool to ensure that you get justice.
Most times, it is important to get the help of attorneys who are skilled at such litigation processes. DWI lawyers in Baton Rouge would be the perfect answer to all your issues in Louisiana. Here at Carl Barkemeyer, criminal defense attorney, we would have some of our DWI lawyers in Baton Rouge go over your case and give you sound advice on the way forward.
We understand just how difficult it can be to be facing a DWI charge. With this in mind, we make it our goal to at least give you a fighting chance. With the right strategy, we would all be happy at the outcome at the end of the litigation process.
Contact the Barkemeyer Law Firm if you have been arrested for DUI or DWI anywhere in Louisiana.