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"I couldn't do that sober!"

What not to say when the police pull you over

By John Buckley - August 18, 2016

One of the most common elements of any DUI investigation is the field sobriety test.  The “test” is a series of three things that DUI officers do with each suspect to obtain additional evidence of alcohol impairment to bolster the accusation that the suspect has been driving under the influence.  The first test involves looking for evidence of nystagmus, an involuntary jerking of the eyes that is more pronounced in the presence of excessive alcohol.  The other two tests involve, in the simplest terms, walking a straight line and standing on one leg.

Before administering the test, the DUI officer demonstrates what they expect from the suspect.  All too often, the suspect, after watching the demonstration will say something to the effect of “hell, I couldn’t do that sober.”  What they mean is that even under the best of circumstances, these tests are difficult to complete.  In fact, the studies that DUI officers cite in trial to prove that these tests are accurate show that one out of five sober people will fail the tests.  However, the suspects inartfully stated opinion of the test implies that they aren’t sober.  Additionally, DUI officers will often ask you how much you've had to drink, where you are coming from, how impaired you feel on a 1 to 10 scale, and other incriminating questions.  You are not required to answer any of these questions.

If you have been stopped by the police and are suspected to be driving under the influence, make life easier on yourself and your Denver DUI defense attorney by saying as little as possible to the DUI officer.  Exercise your right to remain silent.  On a side note, these sobriety tests are VOLUNTARY.  You should politely decline to do them.  There is ZERO consequence for doing so.

If you’ve been charged with a DUI or other criminal offense in the Denver area, you need an attorney who will fight for you.  Call my office for a free consultation.