Interviewer: You’ve mentioned things that people do that can hurt their case, and one of them was maybe giving the officer too much information during the initial arrest or initial stop. What other things can hurt their case?
Avoid Making Incriminating Statements When Questioned by the Police
Brian Sloan: Obviously, doing drugs will hurt their case and drinking too much alcohol and getting behind the wheel can hurt their case. It’s mainly giving the officers evidence to use against them, and that can happen in the form of admitting to things, admitting to how much alcohol was consumed or what prescription medications were taken or what drugs were taken.
If You Are Impaired, It Is Advisable to Decline to Perform the Field Sobriety Tests, Which are Voluntary
It can also come in physical forms, where the officer will very likely attempt to administer what’s called Field Sobriety Tests. One of them is going to be an eye test. There’s a few of them where they have you walk a straight line or stand on one leg or stand with your feet together and tilt your head back and start counting.
Sometimes they’ll do a finger counting test. Sometimes they’ll do a finger-to-nose test. These are all tests that the officer is trying to use to determine whether you were impaired by alcohol or drugs or vapor-releasing substances. But they’re all tests that you are not required to do.
You cannot be forced to do the eye test. You can’t be forced to do the walk and one-leg stand. These are all tests that are technically voluntary. The consequences of not doing performing the tests is simply that if the case goes to trial, the prosecutor can technically tell the jury that the person refused to do the Field Sobriety Test.
It Is Likely That Many People Would Not Be Able to Satisfactorily Pass the Field Sobriety Tests When They Were Sober and under the Best Conditions
But that is much better than actually doing the Field Sobriety Test, where most people do not have the balance required to properly do these tests, and yet because they don’t have the balance in their everyday lives and they could not do those tests, whether they were drunk or sober or on drugs or taking prescription medications or not taking their prescription medications, the prosecutor will always attribute their failure to do these tests on drug or alcohol usage.