The officer will ask you to perform these voluntary roadside tests and state that he or she just wants to "See if you are OK to drive", or, "Want to make sure you are safe to drive." So it sounds like they are "just checking" to help you. Everything you do during those tests, even how you stand while they are giving you instructions, is evidence being gathered which can and will be used as evidence against you to prosecute you for DUI.
You Will Not Be Harmed If You Refuse To Take The Roadside Tests
Most drivers seem to want to cooperate with law enforcement and take the voluntary roadside tests. Either the drivers thinks he or she is really OK to drive and feels like they have nothing to lose and they think they can pass the roadside tests. Little do drivers know, these tests are difficult to pass even if you have had nothing to drink. Drivers do not seem to understand that by taking the tests they are providing evidence to be prosecuted with. Even if you do a pretty good job taking the roadsides, the test results are subjective and they are anything the officer says they are. It doesn't take much to fail the tests and the testimony about how you failed the tests is very strong in court to show you were driving under the influence of alcohol or driving while impaired by alcohol.
If You Refuse, What The Officer Probably Will Say To You, So Be Prepared.
If you refuse to take the roadsides there are a few responses often given by the officer that you should be aware of ahead of time and not be scared by. "If you don't take the tests, I will have to arrest you now". What he or she is not telling you is that they are planning to arrest you anyway. They just need the test to justify the arrest, which will happen if you take the tests. The less evidence you give law enforcement to arrest you, the weaker the case is against you when they do arrest you. "I just want to assess whether you are fit to drive home." Well, chances are you are not going to pass and therefore will not be found to be safe to drive home. Just tell the officer, that is OK, I just won't drive home because I do not want to take the voluntary tests. The officer very well may get angry if you do not take the tests and may say some things meant to bully you in to taking the tests. If you hear anything like that you know you made the right decision to refuse.
Voluntary Roadside Tests vs Express Consent Tests
There are two sets of tests which are offered when stopped for a DUI. The first set are the voluntary roadside tests or Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST). These are VOLUNTARY and there is absolutely no harm to you legally if you refuse these tests. You are simply denying the government evidence to be used against you. The second tests which will be offered to you are Express Consent tests which are either a test of your breath, Intoxilyzer, or a blood test. If you refuse either of these tests you will be harmed legally and will lose your driver's license for a period of time and be unable to drive during that time period. I recommend that you take one of these tests as usually any penalty for the test result will not be as harsh as the penalty of no driving for a period of time. The unusual thing is people frequently take the roadsides thereby providing evidence to the government and then refuse the Express Consent tests. It should be the other way around.
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