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Do I Have to Take Those Roadside Tests?

Sept. 6, 2018

Many residents of Jackson, Kentucky, even if they have no personal experience with this, probably know that when someone gets stopped on suspicion of drunk driving, an officer may ask them to do several tests. For example, they may be expected to walk in a straight line in a certain manner or stand on one leg.

In other cases, an officer may look in to their eyes and shine his or her light around them in order to check for evidence that will support a DUI arrest.

These tests, properly called field sobriety tests, were developed with the involvement of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. They are supposed to be objective indicators of whether or not a driver is under the influence of alcohol or a drug.

However, in practice, they are often part of an officer's efforts to gather as much evidence as possible that supports a conviction. Moreover, no test, including these, is 100 percent reliable.

In Kentucky, a driver should remember that they have no legal obligation to take a field sobriety test. Because they are often used to secure convictions, people should be carefully agreeing to take them. On the other hand, not taking the test will not necessarily mean the officer will not proceed with a DUI arrest and investigation.

Moreover, it is also important to remember that even if they don't have to take field sobriety tests, Kentucky residents, like those in other states, will be required to submit to an official blood or breath test. If they do not do so, then they can face additional consequences beyond a simple DUI charge.

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