“I refused all DWI tests.”
Part of the government’s job in a DWI, Intoxication Assault or Intoxication Manslaughter case is to prove that you were intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle. The law defines intoxication two ways: (1) the loss of the normal use of a person’s physical or mental faculties; or (2) a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or greater. If you can say, I refused all DWI tests, if you refused to take a breath or blood test, and the arresting officer does not obtain a search warrant, then the government is left with only the first option to prove that you were intoxicated.
In order to prove you lost the normal use of your physical or mental faculties, the prosecutor will rely on your performance on the field sobriety tests presented through video or the officer’s testimony. The field sobriety tests officers administer when investigating a DWI, Intoxication Assault or Intoxication Manslaughter, place you in abnormal and unnatural situations, and can make you look intoxicated when you are not.
For example, during some of the field sobriety tests, you are asked to attempt physical tasks, such as walking a straight line with one foot in front of the other or standing on one foot, to test your balance. The normal and natural physical response in these situations is to use your arms for balance. However, if you use your arms to balance yourself during these field sobriety tests, the officer will count that as a clue of intoxication.
Most people do not interact with police officers on a regular basis. The second you see the lights flashing in your rear view mirror you feel your stomach drop. Nervousness comes naturally to most people in this situation. Those nerves intensify when the officer asks you to step out of the car. Now you are standing on the side of the road and a police officer wearing a gun is ordering you to perform physical tasks. Your nerves could affect your performance and you may be inclined to say, I refused all DWI tests.
You have the right to refuse taking these tests. However, refusing to perform the field sobriety tests will probably end with a ride to jail and could affect your driver’s license, but it does not mean the prosecutor can convict you. It can actually makes the government’s job harder because they have less evidence than if you had gone through with the tests. It does not mean the case will just go away though.
The government will take your case seriously even though the prosecutor does not have scientific evidence or the results of a field sobriety tests to prove you were intoxicated at the time you were driving. Make sure you hire an attorney with experience handling these types of cases and who will fight to protect your rights. Contact our office to set up your free consultation and you can decide if Collin Evans is the right attorney for you.