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Understanding Your Right to Decline Field Sobriety Tests and Chemical Tests

July 3rd, 2011

If you are stopped for DWI or DUI in Houston, Texas it is important that you understand how the police’s investigation will proceed. If most officers smell alcohol on you, they will ask you to perform field sobriety tests, including the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the one-leg stand, and the walk and turn. These tests are far from very unreliable indicators of alcohol consumption and can be passed by intoxicated people while failed by completely sober people. If you are stopped for DWI or DUI in Houston or anywhere in Texas, you should know that you can refuse to take these tests. Although a police officer in a DWI or DUI investigation will not make it seem like you have a choice, you can always refuse.

After attempting to have you take field sobriety tests in a DUI or DWI investigation, a police officer will usually offer you a breath test, or in rare instances, a blood test. It is also your right to refuse to give either of these, and that may be the smartest thing to do if you’ve had anything to drink. Chemical tests in DUI or DWI investigations are also very unreliable and there is always a probability that they could be inaccurate in your case. Of course, if you refuse a chemical test in a DUI or DWI investigation, the police officer could seek to have a judge sign a search warrant for your blood (although this usually doesn’t happen), but nevertheless, it is not your job to help the police’s investigation.

If you are the subject of an investigation for DUI or DWI in Houston or anywhere in Texas it is important that you understand your rights. If you are arrested, the attorneys at the Houston, TX office of Scheiner Law Group are an excellent choice and have successfully defended hundreds of DUI or DWI cases.

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