Being pulled over by a police officer in the state of Texas is an unnerving experience, especially if you suspect the officer believes you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Because of the potential consequences associated with being convicted of DWI, many people have questioned whether or not they should perform the field sobriety exercises.
The officer may ask you to exit your vehicle and complete field sobriety exercises in order for him or her to determine whether or not you may be under the influence of alcohol. Whether or not you perform these field sobriety exercises, depends on how you feel at the time. If you have not been driving dangerously, it should not be an issue to avoid the field sobriety exercises.
Current laws in Texas do not mandate that you do the exercises for the police under any circumstances. Keep in mind that there may be penalties for refusing to take part in the testing. Two of the tests for field sobriety involve your balance. One involves you standing with one foot immediately in front of the other taking nine steps forward and then returning. The other common balance test used in the Texas field sobriety test requires you to stand with one of your legs raised six inches off the ground for a minimum of 30 seconds.
You should consider your own balance or physical limitations before you attempt these exercises as any mistakes or difficulty completing them could lead the officer to think that you are under the influence of alcohol. Standard field sobriety tests may include a heel-toe walk, standing on one leg and an eye test. These are difficult to do perfectly on the first try even under the best of conditions. Which is to say nothing of the fact that you are likely extremely nervous when you are talking directly to the officer.
In these situations, try to remain calm. If you are placed under arrest for driving under the influence, you need to consult with an experienced attorney immediately to protect your rights. It can be overwhelming and unnerving to find yourself in this situation but taking positive actions to protect yourself is important.
Call or contact our office to learn more about how we can help and what your rights and responsibilities are. If you are charged with a DWI related driving offense, it’s best to get ahead of your charges as early as possible.