Are field sobriety tests mandatory in Texas? 2 Answers as of November 09, 2010

When stopped by cop is taking a field sobriety test mandatory in Texas (ABC's, walk line, stand on one foot etc )? Can one refuse and ask for blood test?

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Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
FSTs are NOT MANDATORY. You can refuse both the FST and the blood draw or breathe test. The only exception is if the cop gets a warrant for a blood draw from a Judge. Even then, you can refuse to do a FST. The cop cannot make you do it. He/She will arrest you for suspicion of DWI if you do not, but my personal opinion is that once the cop ask for FST, he had decided to arrest you anyway. FSTs are subjective, the cop decides if you pass and at trial, the cop tells the jury you failed because what the cop observed (usually things not visible on the video such as eyes were red, bloodshot, could smell alcohol, you "stumbled when getting out of the car" (or some other location that the video did not cover) you stepped off the line (video's seldom show this with enough clarity to dispute the cop.

Just know that if you refuse, you will be arrested. But, my personal belief is that it is better to be arrested and the State have NO EVIDENCE than to be arrested and the States lead witness gets to tell the jury what the evidence is.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 11/9/2010
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