In Minnesota, field sobriety testing can lead to impaired driving charges. When law enforcement suspects you may be under the influence of alcohol, you are typically required to comply with field sobriety tests. In the event you are ever pulled over and suspected of being under the influence, it’s important to know your legal rights.
Understanding Field Sobriety Testing
Field sobriety testing is typically the first step a police officer will take if there is suspicion that you have been drinking and driving. During a lawful traffic stop, law enforcement can require you to take a field sobriety test if there is any evidence of alcohol in your system. According to Minnesota law, you must comply with this request.
A field sobriety test is a preliminary way for law enforcement to determine if you have been drinking and driving. The three standard elements of a field sobriety test include:
- Using an object or a light to observe a driver’s eye movements (Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus);
- Walking heel-to-toe in a straight line to gauge your balance; and
- Standing on one leg for an extended period of time to determine your ability to maintain your balance.
In order for a field sobriety test to be accurate, all of the above components must be administered. Failing any of these parts of a field sobriety test can lead to probable cause for conducting a more conclusive blood alcohol test. Additionally, an officer can ask you to perform any number of other field tests, including:
- Reciting the alphabet;
- Counting backwards; or
- Touching fingertips to nose.
If the field sobriety test leads to further suspicion that alcohol is present in the driver’s system, then the police officer may arrest the driver, and order a blood alcohol test. However, law enforcement must make sure they are acting within your rights during any such procedures.
Impaired Driving Defense Lawyer
An impaired driving charge is serious and can have a major impact on your future. Fortunately, you don’t have to fight these charges alone. In fact, you don’t even have to wait until charges are brought against you to contact a defense lawyer. Minnesota law allows you to consult with a lawyer within a reasonable amount of time prior to taking a blood alcohol test. If you fail a field sobriety test, your next move should be to contact a qualified defense attorney. This call can save you from a lot of trouble down the road.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
If you are charged with impaired driving after failing a field sobriety test, you need a qualified attorney on your case. At the Brown Law Offices, P.A., we have helped many clients get favorable results in their DWI and DUI cases. Don’t let an impaired driving conviction have a negative impact on your life. Call us today at 763-323-6555, or complete our online form for a free consultation.