There’s a panic moment anytime you’re driving and see emergency lights directly behind you. If you get pulled over and the officer has any hint that you’ve been drinking or consuming drugs, even prescription medications, then there will be a DUI investigation. In these situations most drivers are better off politely refusing when the officer asks you to perform the roadside tests called Field Sobriety Tests or FST’s.

The three main roadside tests used in Washington State are a test of your eyes (Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus or HGN), a walking heel-to-toe test (Walk and Turn or W+T) and a balance on one leg test (One Leg Stand or OLS). You might also be asked to blow into a small handheld breath alcohol test called a Portable or Preliminary Breath Test (PBT). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has more information about these tests.

The roadside agility tests are designed to be unnatural and awkward movements that attempt to simultaneously measure your dexterity and cognitive functioning. You’ll be asked to remember multiple directions given a single time while you’re distracted by cars whizzing by a couple feet away. If you have to ask for clarification or reminders, then you’ll be accused of being confused due to alcohol or drug consumption. Most people will not perform these tests perfectly leading to the test negative marks being used against you as evidence of intoxication. This is why most people are better off politely refusing these roadside tests.

If you or a friend have been accused of a DUI, then you should immediately consult with a Spokane DUI attorney to get advice specific to your case. There are deadlines on some DUI cases that are only seven days after the arrest. The attorneys at Cooney Law Offices can explain your rights and defend your case. We can help!