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DUI/OVI field sobriety tests are optional

Every Ohio resident should know that field sobriety tests are optional. Individuals are not legally required to participate in them during a DUI/OVI traffic stop. The primary reason for this revolves around the fact that the results of these tests depend a great deal on the police officer's subjective perceptions.

It is not difficult to imagine that an officer would be less objective and more subjective when administering these tests since he or she already suspects a driver of impairment. Even the slightest perceived failure could result in an arrest. A police officer's primary objective during a DUI/OVI stop is to obtain probable cause to substantiate an arrest, which means that he or she is not looking out for the driver's best interest.

For instance, all tests require the participant to follow the officer's instructions. On the side of the road with traffic going by, lights shining and nervousness and anxiety, many people have trouble hearing the instructions, let alone understanding and following them. Standing on one leg for just 30 seconds may not seem like a lot, but if a driver has an injury or illness that affects balance, failure is almost assured.

This article provides only the tip of the iceberg regarding why it would not be in most Ohio drivers' best interest to participate in field sobriety tests during a DUI/OVI traffic stop. It may not matter whether someone participates in these tests when it comes to an arrest, however. Even so, defending against any charges could be easier without failed test results.

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