I Passed the Sobriety Tests – Why Was I Charged with DWI?
You have just left a party with friends when you see it up ahead – a DWI checkpoint. Since you haven’t had much to drink, you feel confident and approach the roadblock. The next thing you know, the police are asking you to step out of the vehicle and perform a series of tests to gauge your level of intoxication. Despite seemingly passing all of these tests without an issue, you are shocked to be placed in cuffs and charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI). But how can this be?
Although this type of scenario may be rare, many people have the mentality that they are immune from being arrested for drunk driving if they “pass” all field sobriety tests (FSTs). This could not be further from the truth! While many people believe that FSTs are the deciding factor regarding a police officer’s decision to arrest you, FSTs are actually administered for the sole purpose of allowing the police to gain more evidence against you. These tests are highly subjective and are non-scientific, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) admitting that they can be anywhere from 65 to 77 percent accurate. That means that as many as 35% of people who fail the tests and are charged with drunk driving are not actually impaired.
Sobriety Tests Help Officers Gain Probable Cause
It is important to remember that a driver does not need to fail an FST to be legally arrested for DWI. Instead, the police must only have “probable cause,” or enough evidence to reasonably suspect that a driver may be unfit to drive.
Other signs of intoxication that a police officer may cite to secure your arrest include:
- The odor of alcohol on your breath
- Slurred or slow speech
- Risky or erratic driving
- Bloodshot eyes
- An open alcohol container in your vehicle
As such, it is highly recommended you do not submit to any roadside sobriety tests if you have not been arrested. While an officer may imply otherwise, you are not required by law to participate in any roadside sobriety test and may refuse them without penalty. It is best to simply stay silent and speak to an attorney as soon as possible.
Charged with DWI? Call Peveto Law
If you have been charged with DWI, you may be facing a lengthy driver’s license suspension and serious criminal consequences if you do not act quickly and retain the services of a skilled lawyer. At Peveto Law, our Plano DWI lawyers can provide the hard-hitting advocacy you need to protect your future and minimize your chances of conviction.
Dial 972-339-8033 today to discover your defense options in full detail.