Imagine. You have been pulled over. You might have had a few drinks, or maybe you are just totally exhausted. Perhaps it is a Holiday Weekend and there is a Roadblock. The officer asks you if you would get out of the car to do some Field Sobriety Tests. You don’t know any better, and besides, you don’t want to make the Officer angry. So you get out of the car, you’re nervous! There is a big bright light shining at you and you are standing on the side of the road on a busy highway.
First of all, you do not have to consent to any field sobriety tests. The only test that there are repercussions for not taking is a breathalyzer. Otherwise, if you tell the officer that you don’t want to do any or all of the tests, that cannot be used against you in court. Even better, the police and the prosecutor won’t have the evidence of field sobriety tests to use against you at trial!
One of the most popular tests, is the alphabet test. No, it is not saying the alphabet backwards while hopping up and down on one foot! It is simply saying the alphabet in order, slowly, and distinctly. The officer is observing to see if you slur your words and to see if you can follow directions. It is a simple test, but many things can factor into ‘failing’ the alphabet test. You may stutter, you may be exhausted, you may be very nervous or English might not be your first language. The problem with the alphabet is that anyone who went to kindergarten in the United States learned to SING the alphabet. The police even use singing the alphabet against you!
Have you taken a field sobriety test? Have you been arrested for OUI? Call me at 866-981-7888 or email me to schedule a consultation.