If an officer suspects that you may be driving under the influence of alcohol he will ask you to perform Field Sobriety Tests and submit to a breath testing. Should you perform these test? The short simple answer is NO.
I base my answer on the following:
1. The officer needs you to perform the test in order to get evidence against you. If you do not do the tests, the police officer has little- – if any evidence against you.
2. The officer is the person who is going to “grade” you on how well you perform the field sobriety tests. The officer already believes that you are under the influence of alcohol – – it is going to be close to impossible for you to convince the police officer that you are not intoxicated.
3. The tests are not fair. Specifically, there are aspects of the tests which are designed to mislead you. For example, on the Walk and Turn (WAT) Test, the police officer tells the individual to stand with one foot in front of the other while he explains the test. What he does not tell you is that the test has already started! If you put your feet side by side and not one foot in front of the other you already failed 33% of the test. There are many other misleading portions of the tests.
4. In order to pass the tests you have to complete approximately 925 specific tasks perfect. To fail, all you have to do is make 6 mistakes. The chance of you passing is extremely slim.
Finally, the breath test is calibrated for a middle-aged European Caucasian male- – if this is not you, the breathalyzer machine is not properly calibrated for you. Additionally, there are many other factors and substances which can cause a breath test to indicate a positive result.
The consequence of your refusal to submit to breath testing is an increase in the period of license suspension (Statutory Summary Suspension) from 6 months to 12 months. However, if no tests are complete, having the Statutory Summary Suspension rescinded is a much greater possibility.