Should I submit to the field sobriety tests?
The answer is NO. There is no legal requirement in the State of Ohio for you to take field sobriety tests. There are no consequences if you refuse to take them, so do not take them. Be polite and cooperate and refuse to take any field sobriety tests. Don’t even start to take them! The police will threaten and try to convince you to. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) designed field sobriety tests to prove that you are intoxicated. They are designed for you to fail. By taking these tests you only give the prosecution more evidence against you. You are testifying against yourself, DO NOT DO IT.
If you’ve already been arrested and charged with an OVI don’t worry, I can help. I have taken the 24 hour NHTSA field sobriety test course (FST). If you have already taken the FSTs I will obtain your dashcam video for review. I find that police officers make mistakes in performing the field sobriety tests. If they make a mistake the tests cannot be used against you.
Officers make mistakes in giving these tests in two ways:
1.) they do not give the tests properly and;
2.) they do not score the tests properly.
After I review your field sobriety tests the police say that you failed, I often find that you have passed the test. If that happens the test cannot be used against you in Court and the charges may be reduced or dismissed. In order for the test to be used against you the officer must perform the test in substantial compliance with NHTSA standards. If the officer makes mistakes, you have to file a Motion to Suppress (Evidence) to throw the test results out.
Should I submit to the breath test?
If you take a breath test and blow over .08 you will receive a second charge under the OVI statute. It is illegal to drive if your blood alcohol is greater than .08 in the State of Ohio.
By taking the breath test called BAC and blowing over .08:
1.) You prove the state’s case against you for BAC. I cannot advise you not to follow the law and refuse to take the breath test, but you are incriminating yourself if you take the test and blow over .08.
2.) Even worse, if you blow over a .17 all of the penalties are doubled.
3.) You should know that there are consequences if you refuse to blow. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles will automatically suspend your license for one year. Once you are pulled over and the police get you out of the car to perform field sobriety testing, the officer has already made a decision to charge you with OVI. You are going to be arrested and your license will be suspended. If you blow over the legal limit you are going to be charged with a second DUI violation, (BAC).
Either way they are going to get you driving privileges, whether you blow or don’t blow, whether you take the field sobriety tests or don’t take the field sobriety tests. You have put yourself into a better position if you don’t take the Field Sobriety Tests or the breath test because the State does not have as much evidence to use against you. If you do not take a breath test you avoid the second DUI charge and make it much more difficult for the prosecution to prove their case.