Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Dedicated To Protecting Your Rights
Photo of New York City

Can you trick a police officer during a field sobriety test?

On Behalf of | May 16, 2022 | DWI

When a New York police officer asks you to step out of your vehicle during a traffic stop, you know that they probably want you to perform a field sobriety test. If you confirm that you have had something to drink or if your driving was bad enough to raise red flags, the officer may have you perform several simple tasks as a way to gauge your potential chemical impairment. 

Some people will carry special mouthwash in their vehicles or practice standing on one leg while they wait for their beer at the bar because they have heard about tricks that allow them to pass a field sobriety test. Is it possible to trick a police officer during a traffic stop? 

Most of the so-called tricks don’t work

Sucking on a penny or rinsing with mouthwash will not prevent you from failing a breath test. If anything, swishing with a mouthwash that includes alcohol might worsen your performance on the test. Many of the field sobriety tests are just as questionable. 

Although there is some science to support the idea that practicing physical skills while under the influence of alcohol will improve your ability to perform those skills later, not all of the field sobriety tests are ones that you control. 

The horizontal gaze nystagmus test is a test that measures an involuntary muscle spasm in your eyes that alcohol makes more pronounced. Even if you can acquire the skill of maintaining your balance or walking and turning neatly despite having too much to drink, it is impossible to control involuntary muscle spasms. 

Knowing about the process involved in drunk driving arrests can help you look into ways to defend against pending drunk driving charges.