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DUI Arrests and Field Sobriety Tests: Your Rights in Tennessee

At Runyon & Runyon, we understand that facing a DUI arrest can be a daunting and stressful experience. Whether you're a first-time offender or have been through this process before, you must know your rights regarding field sobriety tests in Tennessee. We aim to empower you with the knowledge you need to navigate this challenging situation.

Understanding Field Sobriety Tests

When you're pulled over under suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) in Tennessee, law enforcement officers often administer field sobriety tests to assess your level of impairment. These tests are designed to measure your coordination, balance, and ability to follow instructions – all of which can be impacted by alcohol or drugs. Common field sobriety tests can include the Walk and Turn, the One-Leg Stand, and Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus.

Your Rights During Field Sobriety Tests

It's important to remember that you have rights during field sobriety tests. While law enforcement officers may make it seem mandatory, you are not legally obligated to take these tests. Politely and respectfully, you can decline to participate in field sobriety tests without facing immediate penalties. However, it's crucial to remain calm and cooperative during the interaction.

Implied Consent Law

Like in many states, Tennessee has an implied consent law. Meaning that by operating a motor vehicle on the state's roads, you have already consented to chemical testing (breathalyzer test or blood test) if you're suspected of DUI. Refusing to take these tests can result in consequences such as license suspension. It's important to note that field sobriety tests are not the same as chemical tests, and you can still refuse to take them if you believe they might incriminate you.

Challenging Field Sobriety Test Results

Field sobriety tests are not foolproof, and various factors can lead to inaccurate results. Conditions such as uneven surfaces, medical issues, or even nervousness can affect your performance on these tests. At Runyon & Runyon, we have experience in challenging field sobriety test results in court, advocating for fair treatment, and ensuring that your rights are upheld.

Steps to Take If Arrested

If you find yourself arrested for DUI after declining or performing field sobriety tests, it's crucial to remain composed and take certain steps to protect your rights:

  • Stay Silent: While you should provide necessary identification information, you have the right to remain silent and avoid self-incrimination. Anything you say can be used against you, so it's best to consult an attorney before speaking to law enforcement.
  • Request an Attorney: Once you've been arrested, request legal representation immediately. This will ultimately help ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process.
  • Document the Incident: If possible, take note of important details surrounding the arrest, such as the behavior of the officers, the conditions of the field sobriety tests, and any potential witnesses.

Contact Runyon & Runyon: Your Advocates in DUI Cases

Don't navigate the legal system alone if you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI after field sobriety tests in Tennessee. At Runyon & Runyon, we deeply understand Tennessee's DUI laws while aggressively defending our client's rights. Our experienced attorneys are here to guide you through the process, ensuring that your rights are upheld, and your side of the story is heard.

Facing a DUI arrest and field sobriety tests can be overwhelming, but knowing your rights is the first step toward a fair legal process. At Runyon & Runyon, we are dedicated to providing you with expert legal guidance and support during this challenging time.

Contact Runyon & Runyon today to schedule a consultation!