DUI FST Overview

DUI Field Sobriety Tests Overview | How to Refuse DUI Field Sobriety Tests | DUI Lawyer Mesa, AZ

“The safest way to refuse a field sobriety tests; preserve your rights; and assure that your FST refusal will less likely to be held against you in court.”

By: Law Office of James Novak, PLLC, DUI & Criminal Defense Lawyer, Mesa, AZ

DUI Field Sobriety Tests Overview

In our last three articles on Google +, we discussed the following areas relating to DUI Field Sobriety Tests (FST) guidelines in Arizona as follows:

  • Development and Accuracy and validity of DUI Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) and alternative, Field Sobriety Tests;
  • Reasons why in most cases, Arizona DUI lawyers will recommend that you refuse to take the FST.; and
  • Consequences of Refusing the Field Sobriety Tests

In this segment we discuss the best way to refuse a field sobriety tests; preserve your rights to defenses; and assure that the refusal will be less likely to be held against you in court.

How to Refuse DUI Field Sobriety Tests

In the event you decide to refuse the FST, you should be aware that the police and prosecution will attempt to portray your refusal as sign of guilt to the judge or jury. They will argue that you refused to take the FST because you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and that as a result of the alcohol or drugs you were afraid you would fail the FST. Therefore you will need to go a step further than just refusing. In addition, your attitude in the refusal will also be documents. Here are some guidelines you may wish to follow:

  • Refuse Politely;
  • Even if you have not been drinking or consumed drugs, still refuse politely;
  • Currently in Arizona, your refusal to take field sobriety tests is admissible in court, because you have the right to avoid self-incrimination; so politely let the officer know that you wish to invoke that right.
  • Advise the police officer that you are refusing, not because you are impaired, and afraid you will fail due to any drugs or alcohol. But rather, due to the history of the FSTs producing inaccurate results in unimpaired drivers, you prefer not to take them.
  • If you suffer from a physical impairment, that may affect your balance; you are 50 pounds overweight; or if you are over the age of 60; make this known to the police officer, and tell them you do not feel you are a good candidate for the test. Note: The NHTSA guidelines discourage the FST in all of these situations, due to the history of high percentage of inaccurate and invalid results in unimpaired persons in these categories.
  • Finally, if the police officer threatens to arrest you if you don’t take the FST (which they most likely will do), then you may want to consider taking the FST, but under the following condition: Tell the officer that you have already expressed your refusal to take the FST; but that that will cooperating due to the threat, and wish to be cooperative under the circumstances. But most importantly, you are doing so under protest and wish to have the officer document this. This will preserve your rights to have your DUI defense attorney will move to have the FST results dismissed or suppressed, because you did not voluntarily consent to performing them.

The Law Office of James Novak, is an experienced DUI, Drug crimes & Criminal Defense Firm serving Tempe, Phoenix, Phoenix , Mesa, Gilbert, Scottsdale, AZ and surrounding cities in Maricopa County. Call 24/7 for a Free Consultation (480) 413-1499.