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What You Need To Know About Field Sobriety Tests In Ohio

Police officers can pull drivers over if they have a reasonable suspicion that they are impaired. To arrest or charge someone with DUI, however, officers must have probable cause – so they often look for evidence through field sobriety tests.

At Carrabine & Reardon, Co., LPA, we have more than 30 years of experience defending DUI charges. Our attorneys, who have been included on the Super Lawyers list and AV Preeminent* peer-review rated through Martindale-Hubbell, are local to the mentor community and genuinely care about our clients.

Which Field Sobriety Tests Are Used In Ohio?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has provided law enforcement with three types of standard field sobriety tests:

  • The walk-and-turn test: This usually involves the participant walking to a certain point in a straight line, turning and walking in a straight line to their starting point. From this, officers can gauge the participant’s level of balance and coordination.
  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus test: This test involves the participant looking at an object (such as a pen) and following it with their eyes. This test is designed to measure the participant’s ability to focus.
  • One-legged stand test: Participants are expected to balance on one leg for a brief period. This allows officers to assess their coordination.

It is important to note that these tests are very subjective. Whether or not you “pass” may depend on the officer’s judgment.

Can You Refuse Field Sobriety Tests?

In Ohio, field sobriety tests are not mandatory. Unlike chemical breath testing to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC) level, there is no mandatory penalty associated with refusing to participate in these tests. It is never to your advantage to take one.

Call Us Today For Help With DUI Charges

A DUI conviction can have a severe impact on your personal and professional lives. Fortunately, you are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. At Carrabine & Reardon, Co., LPA, we guarantee to fight for your rights and implement the best possible defense strategies. Call us today on 440-299-6131 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer-review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.