After a busy work week, you might be among many other Connecticut residents who love to get a little rest and relaxation. Perhaps you and your spouse enjoy a weekly date night. If you’re still single, maybe you like getting together with friends for a burger and a few drinks. Socializing is an important part of life. However, numerous issues can make a fun and festive night out go sour. For instance, if a police officer pulls you over, the evening takes an immediate nosedive.

Getting a traffic ticket or warning at some point in your driving career is common. If the officer asks you to get out of your vehicle, the matter is far more serious. In fact, it likely means he or she suspects you of impaired driving. If you take a field sobriety test, you risk facing arrest and possible drunk driving charges. Many people think it’s better to take the test than refuse. The decision is yours. Either way, it’s critical that you know your rights and how to protect them.

Remember these things about field sobriety tests

Police typically use three tests as field sobriety tests. They ask you to take such tests if they’re looking for probable cause to arrest you for possible intoxication or drug impairment. Once the patrolling officer explains what you are to do and tells you to begin, you have approximately 30 seconds to show that you are coherent and sober.

What exactly is the officer observing?

If you take a one-leg stance test or walk-and-turn test, you will be performing physical tasks while the police officer carefully and closely observes your behavior. He or she is checking your ability to remember and follow a series of verbal instructions. The officer also observes your balance, gait and coordination.

Within 30 seconds, you will pass or fail a field sobriety test. If the officer determines that you stumble, waiver, skip a step in the test or show yourself incapable of performing any of the tasks, the rest of your night might take place at a county jail.

What to do if you fail a field sobriety test

Consuming an alcoholic beverage before you drive home doesn’t necessarily mean you broke the law when you got behind the wheel. It depends on your blood alcohol content level. However, if you face drunk driving charges, things may get a lot worse before they get better, even if you are confident that you did not commit a crime. If you have family at home, one of the first things you’ll want to do is let them know a Connecticut police officer took you into custody.

Most people request legal representation as soon as they get arrested as well. In fact, reliance on experienced defense assistance is often key to obtaining an ultimately positive outcome in such circumstances.