If you are stopped on suspicion of drunk driving, there are a number of tests you may be asked to submit to. You can refuse to take any of them, but the consequence of doing so varies from test to test. Declining a blood alcohol test means automatic suspension of your license. However, this is not the case if you refuse a field sobriety test. Drivers in Arizona should not feel pressured to take these tests if they are worried the results may count against them.
In a recent case in Cleveland, former quarterback Bernie Kosar has defended his choice not to participate in a field sobriety test last year. He has explained that surgical procedures on his ankle and knee had prevented him from being able to carry out the test. Although he was initially facing a drunk-driving charge, he ultimately ended up entering a plea for a lesser charge.
The former Browns star has made a no contest plea to a charge of reckless operation. According to the football star, part of the legacy of his NFL days is that he could potentially appear intoxicated when he is not. Various head injuries sustained in the course of his career have left him with injuries that occasionally cause him to slur his speech. In relation to the charge he entered the plea for, he has been fined and issued a suspended jail sentence.
This happened out of state, but drivers in Arizona could just as easily find themselves in this position. There are several factors that can interfere with a field sobriety test, from illness or disability to simple nerves. If you are facing drunk driving charges, do not despair as you need not handle them alone. An attorney can guide you through the defense process and may be able to help you avoid legal repercussions.
Source: Arizona Daily Star, “Former Browns star Kosar pleads to lesser charge,” April 28, 2014