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Should you take a field sobriety test?

If you have been inundated with Black Friday commercials, you are certainly not alone. With the economy on an upswing retailers want to get to your money as soon as possible. This means that advertisements about coveted Black Friday specials will be running from Thanksgiving until Cyber-Monday.

However, Black Wednesday does not receive nearly as much publicity, especially given the dangers it carries. Black Wednesday refers to the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, where many people are travelling to destinations in anticipation of the holiday. It is also a time where people (especially college students) may be home for the first time after leaving for school, and they get together in bars to reconnect. 

Some may feel okay to drive, only to be stopped by the police and asked to perform “a few tests” to alleviate concerns about drunk driving. As our readers may know, sobriety tests are rarely given to clear a suspect of wrongdoing, so the question is: should you take a field sobriety test?

Like many criminal law questions, it depends.

You may be in a situation where you have had too much and your blood alcohol content may be twice the legal limit (.08), where you may be subject to a harsher level of punishment. Performing a field sobriety test, which may include a handheld Breathalyzer, may give the police probable cause to charge you with a higher degree of DUI.

Conversely, you may be just at the legal limit, and the time it may take for your arrest, the transportation to a police station and the reading of your rights before a Breathalyzer test may give you enough time for your BAC to slide below the legal limit.

Either way, you can take solace in knowing that you will not be charged with a crime for refusing a field sobriety test.

The preceding is not legal advice. 

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