Thursday, October 13, 2011


Refusing Physical Sobriety Tests in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Attorney

What are the consequences if I refuse to perform sobriety tests?

Even though these exercises are said to be free and voluntary, your refusal to perform them might be used as evidence against you showing an awareness of guilt.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has indicated that police officers are not required to give Miranda warnings or information about the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination prior to requesting a field sobriety test.


What are physical sobriety tests?

These are sometimes referred to as field sobriety tests or exercises.
These tests are given to a DUI or DAI suspect by a police officer in order to decide whether to arrest the person for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  Physical sobriety tests involve a series of exercises: the one-legged stand; walk-the-line; finger-to-nose; horizontal gaze nystagmus, and the Rhomberg balance exercises.
Each of these tests is relatively easy, but if your performance of these is impaired,  you must be prepared to convince the jury that it is not easy to perform these exercises under certain circumstances.  Arguably, even sober participants have difficulty performing the tests under the stress of a police traffic-stop. Attorney Joseph Paletta can help demonstrate your case to the jury.