Seeing flashing lights in your rearview mirror can feel overwhelming. When you left, you may have felt confident that you did not have too much to drink, but when there are sirens and lights behind you, you may start to second-guess if you were under the limit.
After you pull over and the officer talks to you on the side of the road, you start to worry that they will ask you to perform a field sobriety test. In some cases, the nervousness from being pulled over is enough to make most field sobriety tests feel impossible. You may start to wonder if you must agree to the test.
Here’s what you should know about field sobriety tests in Indiana.
What are they looking for?
The impression from TV and movies is that you will pass as long as you do not fall over during a field sobriety test. However, this is entirely inaccurate. When law enforcement administers a field sobriety test, they are looking for many subtle clues that could indicate you had too much to drink, such as:
- Inability to follow directions
- Lack of coordination
- Difficulty balancing or performing the tasks
- Inability to concentrate on more than one instruction
While the officer may already have indications that you had too much to drink, when they ask you to perform a field sobriety test, they are looking for confirmation that you are too impaired to drive.
It’s not required, but
When an officer asks you to perform a task, it can seem more like an order than a question. In Indiana, you can politely refuse to take a field sobriety test.
However, it is important to note that if you refuse to take a field sobriety test, the officer can still require you to take a chemical test of your breath, blood or urine. Although chemical tests can occasionally be inaccurate, they tend to give a more precise record of how much you had to drink.