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8110 East Cactus rd. Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Field Sobriety Testing

Before a police officer can arrest you for DUI in Scottsdale or require you to provide a blood sample, they must first establish probable cause. Typical observations used by the police during the early stages of a DUI stop include poor driving and the physical appearance of the driver. The DUI officer may also engage in seemingly innocent small talk so he can smell your breath and listen for any slurred speech. The officer will be making mental notes of any signs and symptoms of impairment that could justify your arrest for DUI from the moment he initiates contact with you. Even though most police officers have already made the decision to arrest you, they will also ask you to perform roadside field sobriety tests. The officers will then use the “results” of these tests to establish the probable cause they need to legally arrest you and get a blood sample.

In reality, these “tests” are designed for failure. Your performance on these tests is determined by the officer’s subjective assessment and often there is no other witness or video footage available to contradict the officer’s assessment of how well you did. There are a series of tests used by the police such as the as the “walk and turn” test, the “one leg stand” test, the “finger to nose” test, the “close your eyes and balance” test, and the “eye” test. Many of the roadside field sobriety tests used in Scottsdale DUI cases are uncertified and have not been scientifically validated. An experienced attorney knows how to challenge field sobriety tests in court and expose their inherent unfairness.

Field Sobriety Test Validity

Because they are not required to, most Scottsdale DUI officers will not inform you that these tests are voluntarily. If you are asked to conduct these tests, even under the guise of the officer stating that he “just wants to make sure you’re okay to drive”, you should firmly but politely decline to take the tests. Although the fact that you refused can be used by the prosecution in court, the often exaggerated “results” of a completed are test are usually far more damaging. More importantly, a skilled Scottsdale DUI Lawyer might be able to use the absence of roadside sobriety tests to obtain a dismissal on the legal grounds that the officer lacked probable cause for your arrest.

Unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous Scottsdale DUI Officers who will threaten to take you to jail unless you participate in their roadside gymnastic exercises. If this occurs, you should comply with the officer’s request but make it perfectly clear that you are doing so to avoid whatever consequences you have been threatened with. A Scottsdale DUI Attorney should be able to have the results from those tests suppressed by the court on the grounds that they were involuntary and the product of police coercion. Remember, the side of the road is no place to argue with the police or debate Scottsdale DUI law. Just do as the officer asks but politely note that you are doing so under protest.

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