Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver and Dancing with the Stars Champion Hines Ward was recently in the news after he was arrested in DeKalb County for allegedly driving under the influence. He was pulled over after swerving and hitting a curb. According to the police report, Ward smelled like alcohol and performed poorly on field sobriety tests including the portable breath test and balance tests. He was released from custody after posting bail, and is now dealing with the consequences of DUI allegations including potential suspension from his position in the NFL and media backlash against another athlete in trouble.
While Ward’s case is highlighted because he is a public figure, there are aspects of his case that can help others in the same situation. The first step in avoiding a DUI arrest is prevention. Make plans to have a designated driver or cab come pick you up after a night of drinking.
First, Ward should not have submitted to any of the roadside field tests. If you are stopped and suspected of DUI in the state of Georgia, you are not legally required to take any field sobriety tests. Therefore, you should never submit to any roadside field sobriety tests including the horizontal gaze, walk-and-turn, or one-leg-stand tests. At a hearing or trial, the officer who initially pulled Ward over will be able to use these roadside field tests against Ward as proof of Ward’s inability to operate a car safely.