What You Need to Know About Sobriety Tests

When you’re pulled over for drinking and driving, you may already be nervous. Your license and your future is on the line after a traffic stop. If you fail the sobriety test, it can affect your driving privileges, your finances, and your criminal record. 

So, what do you need to know when you’re stopped by a police officer and asked to take a sobriety test? Below are just a few of the details about the tests and why you should take the test, even if you’re sure you’ll fail it. 

Sobriety Tests During a Traffic Stop

If you’ve been pulled over and tested for alcohol during a traffic stop, you may be concerned about the accuracy of these tests. After all, humans are fallible, so a police officer could make a mistake or misread the machines, right? 

The police have been trained to administer these tests, though, and often, they’re pretty accurate. Studies have shown that visual tests, like the walk-and-turn test, are rarely wrong. Breathalyzer tests are especially accurate, and can be tough to dispute. 

That doesn’t mean they can’t be wrong, of course. For example, diabetic conditions can cause similar symptoms to intoxication. You may be having a medical emergency, rather than driving drunk. However, if you are drunk, these tests could affect your case. 

You Could Get in Trouble if You Refuse

When you’re stopped and asked to take a sobriety test, that’s barely a question or a suggestion. If you refuse, your license can be automatically suspended. Worse, you could be tested anyway at a hospital or at the police station. 

That’s because everyone with a drivers license has also agreed to “implied consent.” While you may not have directly stated it, you consent to being tested as long as you have a drivers license. If you don’t consent to the test, you may no longer have a drivers license.

What you may also fail to realize is that the one-year conviction can be avoided if you take the test. A year is a long time to be without your license, after all, and fighting back against the accusations can make a difference. 

You Can Avoid Being Convicted in Other Ways 

Many people think that failing a sobriety test means they’re as good as convicted. What they may not know is that you can fight a sobriety test’s results, and you may be able to get your conviction reduced or dismissed anyway. 

Often, that’s the best way to handle your case. When you’re dealing with a DUI, a sobriety test refusal can hurt your chances to protect your license, even if you’re found not guilty. However, a Clearwater DUI lawyer can help you dispute the results and get answers for your case. You have options: all you have to do is talk to your attorney about your test results after your traffic stop.