Field Sobriety Tests (FST)

If a police officer stops your vehicle on suspicion of drunk driving, they may ask you to submit to a set of field sobriety tests. By law, you are not required to submit to a field sobriety test.

Law enforcement uses field sobriety tests to determine if you are impaired by alcohol or drugs. If they feel you have performed poorly on a field sobriety test, they may conclude that they have probable cause to make a DUI arrest. Examples of field sobriety tests include:

  • Balance tests (where you walk a line or stand on one leg)
  • Eye tests (where the officer flashes a light in your eye or asks you to follow his finger with your eyes to look for signs of impairment)
  • Verbal tests (where the officer asks you questions or instructs you to recite the alphabet)

Why Are Field Sobriety Tests Important?

A valid DUI arrest starts with a valid vehicle stop, which should be supported by sufficient cause. Once the officer stops your vehicle, they may ask you to perform various field sobriety tests if they believe you have been drinking.

The goals of the field sobriety tests are to determine if you are impaired and establish probable cause for an arrest. After your arrest, you will be asked to submit to a breath test or provide a blood sample.

If we are retained as your defense counsel, we would question whether the officer properly performed the field sobriety tests and properly concluded that you were impaired. We may ask a court to dismiss the results of your breath or blood test if the officer did not have probable cause to make a lawful arrest. Even if the court does not grant our motion to dismiss your charges, we may be able to argue that you were not impaired. Such arguments can be used in plea discussions with the prosecutor or may become part of our defense strategy at trial if your case is not resolved by agreement or dismissal.

Contact An Idaho DUI Defense Lawyer

If you need an experienced criminal defense attorney who will zealously defend your rights, contact Minert Law Office in Boise, Idaho. To contact our firm, call 208-991-3394 or contact us by e-mail. Please give us a call. We can help!