As a Brazoria County DWI Lawyer I often get asked my opinion on if individuals should do the Field Sobriety Tests if they are pulled over and investigated for a DWI?  I always like to tell them a story about a DWI trial.

It was a DWI trial in Brazoria County, and the Brazoria County DWI Lawyer asked the jury if they know anything about sobriety tests.  And one of the jurors raised his hand and said, “You mean those roadside gymnastics?”

That is an absolutely perfect description.  The funny thing about DWI field sobriety testing is that it is designed to test your normal physical faculties.  What that means is to test your normal ability to control the physical functioning of your body.  But they don’t ask you to do normal things!  That ask you to do “roadside gymnastics”.

What do we normally do?

We walk step by step.  So why don’t the officers ask someone to walk to their car and back and see how they look?  Instead, they make you put one foot in front of the other, they make you stare at your feet, and walk in a straight line where you have to touch heel to toe on every step.  Do we normally walk heel to toe?  NO!  So why are we using something so abnormal to test for normal faculties?

What about balancing on one leg?  How many times in your normal life do you simply balance on one leg, while lifting the other 6 inches off the ground, staring at your foot, and not using your hands for balance?  If you are like most people I would guess never.  But they test people’s normal faculties by making them do something that they normally never do.

So what am I getting at?  Do not do these tests!  Sober people fail these every single day.  Even their training manuals tell you that they are not 100% accurate.  Some people worry that if they refuse, it will look like they are hiding something.  You must remember that you are presumed innocent.  Juries cannot assume what they do not know.  What is better, having a video of you falling all over the place because you have horrible balance, or a video of you politely telling an officer that you don’t have good balance and that you don’t think it would be fair for you to do balancing tests?  I would say the 2nd one.

So if you are even in this situation, do NOT do the tests.  If they are going to arrest you for DWI, they are going to arrest you, even if you “pass” their tests.  If you have any specific questions feel free to reach out to me, Brazoria County DWI Lawyer Eric J Benavides at 713-222-2828 or and we will talk about your situation.

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