Police officer have a way about them that makes people feel as if they have to do the field sobriety tests; they make it sound as if they’re giving that person an order and may make them believe that bad things might happen to them if they don’t take the tests or do it the officer asks them to do. This is one reason why I like the video; with the video, we can find out exactly how the officer asked the person to take the field sobriety tests, and when the time comes to ask him about it in court, under oath, began comparing that to what actually happened. Too often, police officers try to use intimidation, but the taking of the tests has to be completely consensual by law; if it isn’t, the results can be thrown out.
Of course, some people fool themselves into believing that they are okay and that they won’t have a problem with taking the tests, but that’s just naïve, since the officer isn’t looking to pass you, but looking to fail you and gather evidence against you.
How to Decline the Tests Without Upsetting the Police Officer?
In order to make it easier for my clients to decline the tests, I give them my business card and tell them to keep it with their driver’s license, so they can hand my card and driver’s license to the police officer at the same time. When the officer asks what the card was, the client can turn it over, where it states, “Rights card,” and also, “I refuse to speak to you. I’ve been told by my lawyer not to consent to any searches or line-ups.” In addition, the card states their rights under the constitution; that way the officer knows that the person he’s talking to has a lawyer and they won’t say anything.
For people who don’t have that card they should simply politely decline and tell the officer that their lawyer advised him not to speak to the police. The next thing the police officer will say at that point will likely be an attempt to get them to waive their rights; at that point, the person should just stick to their strategy and say nothing else.
I often see YouTube videos of people who assert their rights and they end up being very rude to the police, and those people are lucky if they don’t get arrested; that may seem improper and it technically is, but there’s nothing to be gained by being rude to a police officer, this is just as easy to be polite and respectful.
Are People Obligated To Take The Standardized Field Sobriety Tests?
What all people should realize is that no one is ever obligated to subject themselves to the field sobriety tests; in fact my standard advice to people is to not talk to police, refuse to perform any use field sobriety tests and to do nothing but they are not legally obligated to do. Think of field sobriety tests has statements; just as you are not required to make any statements to the police, you’re not required to give the police officer any evidence against you.
In Virginia, in some cases refusing to take field sobriety tests can sometimes be looked at as a factor in determining whether or not the person was intoxicated. Some people try to make it look as if the person had a guilty conscience and that’s why they didn’t want to participate. Even with that in mind, my standard advice for everyone is to not do the field sobriety tests and not talk to the police.
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