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How Do They Perform The Field Sobriety Tests?


This is the test where the person has to walk the line and hold their leg up for 30 seconds, touch their nose and do those kinds of things. They will have the person stand in an unnatural position. For the walk and turn test, they will have the person stand one toe in front of the other like they are on a tight rope with their hands by their sides. They would have to stand like this for about a minute, while the officer explains all of that to them. Nobody can stand like that for a minute; a person can stand with their feet apart all day long with the wind blowing in their face, but they would not be able to do it if they tried to stand for a minute with one foot in front of the other with their hands down by their sides for no balance and then trying not to move, especially if they are nervous.

Can Someone Refuse If They Are Feel Okay But Are Overweight Or Have A Bad Knee?

This is always a dilemma. If the person truly has reasons why they feel that they would not be able to complete the field sobriety tests, but they are convinced that they are under the limit, then without making too much fuss about why they cannot do the tests, they should just ask to do the portable breath test. If the person is convinced that they are under the limit, then they can go ahead but they would be running a risk. A lot of people think that just because they cannot feel the alcohol, it is not in their system. It does not take that much to get to a 0.08, although it would be different for every person and it would depend on how much food they had in their stomach. There are a lot of variables that go into it, so there is no set formula for how many beers in one hour would equal a 0.08. There are ways to estimate that but there are variables that affect it.

What Does The Breath Test Device Look Like And How Will People Know They Are Being Asked To Take That Test?

The officer will pull out a machine and ask the person to take the test. There is a trick that they use all the time where they will tell the person that they did well on the field sobriety tests, even though they later write down on their report that the person failed all the tests. They will say that they have one more test for the person to pass, so they can make sure the person was safe to go home, so if they pass the test then they would let the person go. The officer will pull out the portable breath test and tell the person to blow into it as far as they can for about 30 seconds. The machine would give a reading and that is where the person would get stuck.

The reading cannot be used against the person as far as the actual trial for DUI because the portable tests are seldom certified to the point where they can be admissible in court, although they would be admissible as far as probable cause and to show that the officer had a reasonable cause to take things further and arrest the person. Probable cause is one thing and getting convicted beyond a reasonable doubt is something else.

Do People Get Confused Between The Portable Breath Test And The One Conducted At The Station?

People do get very confused because they do not understand the difference between them, whereas one test is admissible in court and the other one is not. I have had quite a few clients who had taken the portable roadside test and might have blown below 0.10, but refused to take the test when they got back to the station. The person would have to face the consequences for refusing to take the test because it would still count as a refusal. The person can refuse to take it on the road but they cannot refuse to take it back at the station if the officer had a reason to ask the person to perform the test.

Wisconsin is just the opposite of Illinois. Someone who did not take the breath test in Wisconsin, would be in the worst category they can be in for a DUI. The person would get a whole separate ticket for the refusal and they could get revoked for that, instead of just the suspension. In the county I practice in in Wisconsin, they have a grid which basically breaks it down to under 0.15, under 2.0, up to 2.5 and over 2.5 and each one is subcategorized into aggravated or un-aggravated, whether there was an accident or anything like that. The person would be in the highest category if they refused and that would carry different penalties, especially when the person hit the second, third or fourth incident, because those would be jail-able offenses.

For more information on Road Side Sobriety Tests, a free initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (847) 244-4636 today.

Barry Boches, Esq.

Get your questions answered - call me for your free phone consultation (847) 244-4636.

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