In order to administer a blood alcohol test or arrest a driver for a DUI charge, a police officer must have probable cause. Generally, a moving violation alone is not probable cause. The information needed for probable cause is generally gathered after a driver is pulled over. The more the driver talks to the officer, the more opportunity the officer has to gather the information he or she needs to have probable cause.
Once the officer can legally administer a blood alcohol test, the driver should not refuse. Up to that point, however, the driver can and should politely decline any requests for information beyond providing the officer with his or her license, registration, and proof of insurance. This includes any requests to participate in field sobriety tests. The proper response to these requests is a simple, “No, thank you, I would prefer not to.” Clearly request to make a call to an attorney, and then phone Tempe DUI attorney Mark N. Weingart at the first opportunity.
Simply stated, field sobriety tests are not scientifically valid. They are designed to promote failure on the part of participants. Failure of these tests simply provides the officer with more of the information he or she needs to make an arrest and compel a breath or blood test to measure blood alcohol content.
For further information about field sobriety tests or to arrange an evaluation of a DUI case, please contact Mark N. Weingart, the premier DUI defense attorney in Tempe, today.
Dr. Spurgeon Cole, a retired psychology professor at Clemson University, conducted an experiment to measure the ability of police officers to determine whether someone was intoxicated based on videos of drivers taking common field sobriety tests. The officers determined, on average, that 46 percent of the drivers were legally intoxicated. In reality, all of the drivers had blood alcohol content levels of precisely 0 percent. That’s right – not one driver had consumed even a sip of alcohol.
“I would never recommend anyone take a field sobriety test,” stated Dr. Cole. “It is designed to fail the test taker…There are no norms, there is no average score. We have no idea what the average person could do on the one leg with the heel to toe.”
Cole went on to explain that “If you use all of [the field sobriety tests], and do them right, you are only 26 percent better than chance, 74 percent as much error as you would have if you just randomly guessed.”
For those who took and failed a field sobriety test and were subsequently arrested on a DUI charge, Tempe DUI defense lawyer Mark N. Weingart can challenge the results in an appropriate motion. These tests have no basis in science and should not be used in determining whether there is probable cause to make an arrest.
For further information about Tempe field sobriety tests, please call, email, or visit DUI attorney Mark Weingart today. Every person has rights, and attorney Weingart can ensure that they are protected.