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THE STANGL LAW BLOG

Video: Can You Refuse Field Sobriety Tests in Wisconsin?

Posted by Attorney Stangl on September 29, 2016

Watch the video to learn whether you can refuse field sobriety tests in Wisconsin.

 

 

Video Transcript

"Many people in Wisconsin, if they're pulled over for suspicion of operating while under the influence of an intoxicant, don't realize that they are not legally required to do field sobriety tests.

Typically, there are a number of tests that the officer will want you to do, including something called the HGN test, which is a test to determine whether your eye exhibits a certain jerking motion called the horizontal gaze nystagmus.

There is the walk-and-turn test, where the officer will ask you to take nine steps heel-to-toe with your arms by your side down an imaginary, or perhaps a real line on the road. They're looking for your balance, to determine whether you can follow their instructions and also maintain an appropriate balance.

And, finally, one of the tests they'll usually have you do is called the one-leg-stand test, where you stand on one leg, with your arms down by your side, your heel off the ground approximately 6 inches and pointed out and have you count, "One-thousand-one, one-thousand-two," up to 30.

These field sobriety tests are known as dual-attention tests, so the officer's looking for two different things: one, your ability to follow and process those instructions, as well as your ability to maintain balance.

The problem with these tests are that they're completely subjective, and they really discriminate against people who have poor balance, and there could be a number of reasons why people don't do well on these tests, including being nervous, they're often done outside and people should be aware that you're not legally required to do them."

-Attorney Patrick Stangl 

 

It is important to note that drivers with a commercial driver's license or CDL are legally required to submit to field sobriety tests, according to Implied Consent.

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Topics: Video, Drunk Driving Charges (OWI), Drug Charges

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