28Nov 2014

Should I Take Field Sobriety Tests?

This is a question that keeps coming up over and over. Should you submit to field sobriety tests if an officer requests that you take them? It appears that it may not matter. Many folks believe that they are designed to make you fail and now, with some recent decisions, it looks like you are in trouble if you take them - and in trouble if you don't. In Washington state the case State vs. Mecham resulted in a finding by the judge that a field sobriety test was a reasonable search and therefore not constitutionally protected. What does this mean? It means that the prosecutor can tell a jury you refused a field sobriety test and that refusal may be taken as evidence of your guilt! That decision is currently on appeal so we will all hold our breath and hope a wiser judge overturns the ruling. In the meantime, remember, do not drink and drive under any circumstances. That is the best advice we can give on the subject.