The uniform field sobriety tests are designed to determine level of impairment, as well as provide fodder/evidence to establish a basis for probable cause to arrest for DUI. They are the horizontal gaze nystagmus, the one leg stand to a count of 30, the heel to toe 9 step walk and turn, and the portable/preliminary breath test that is only admissible to show presence of alcohol not level of alcohol. Refusal to do any of these tests does NOT count as a refusal of the requested breath,blood, or urine test. A suspect is simply providing evidence against him or herself in cooperating on these tests. However, if done well, may result in release to drive home. Unless, of course, that in the face of doing well, the suspect blows above .08 on the PBT. Which, of course, is “only admissible to show presence of alcohol”, not level. A video tape of the FSTs and a good cross examination of the officer will often prevail in front of a listening judge on a suppression hearing, the result of which could lead to a dismissal of the DUI charge.
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