Legal Representation In Minnesota And Wisconsin

Party time, but can you drive home? Field Sobriety Tests and DWIs

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2024 | DWI/DUI |

Celebrating with friends often involves good food, great company and occasionally, alcohol. Therefore, as the night winds down, the question of whether driving home is safe can become a pressing issue.

One common approach some might consider is having friends conduct standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs) to determine if they are fit to drive. But can these tests, administered in a casual setting by friends who are not law enforcement officials, truly indicate if someone is DWI-safe?

FSTs aren’t a foolproof party trick

While FSTs are a valuable practice for law enforcement, they shouldn’t be your go-to method for determining drivability at a party. This is because these tests are designed and administered by trained officers. Nerves, fatigue or certain medical conditions can lead to a failing grade even if you’re sober.

Conversely, someone adept at balancing might pass despite being intoxicated. Furthermore, friends might unintentionally bias their observations, either wanting to be lenient or overly strict based on personal perceptions. Therefore, even if you pass a friend’s makeshift FST, remember that Minnesota has strict DWI laws. The party fun can quickly turn sour if you drink and drive and end up with a DWI conviction.

How to know whether you’re sober

The safest and most reliable way to guarantee you are sober enough to drive is time. Alcohol leaves your body at a steady rate, and there’s no way to speed up that process. Instead of conducting FSTs at the party, the party crew should appoint a friend who wasn’t drinking to get everyone home safely.

However, if everyone sipped alcoholic drinks, you and your friends should use rideshare services to get home safely. Alternatively, some might be better off sleeping it off at the host’s house and driving home when all the alcohol wears out.

The bottom line is that engaging in FSTs at a party are not a reliable indicator of your sobriety. And you can agree that risking a DWI for the sake of driving yourself home is not worth it. However, you can benefit from personalized legal assistance if you’re already in the hot seat. A reliable legal team can help to better ensure that your one-off slip-up does not cost you your driving privileges and hefty fines.