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Field sobriety tests are extremely difficult to pass, even if you are a professional athlete with amazing balance and dexterity. According to, Ty Lawson, the Denver Nugget’s point guard, was arrested last week after police suspected him of driving under the influence. Police initially pulled over the basketball star for going 61 mph in a 35 mph zone, but Lawson was suspected of a DUI due to the strong odor of alcohol on his breath. Lawson admitted to drinking, his eyes were bloodshot and he was slurring his speech. At this point, it was pretty much inevitable that he would be arrested, but what happened next is a DUI-Don’t. Lawson was asked to perform field sobriety tests, where police have you recite the alphabet backwards, touch your finger to your nose, or walk in a straight-line heel-to-toe. The DUI-Don’t was that Lawson agreed to take the tests, giving the police even more physical evidence to use against him in court. What Can We Learn From This Story? Ty Lawson’s arrest is a great example of what not to do if you find yourself being suspected of drunk driving. If you are pulled over under suspicion of DUI, of course be polite and cooperative with the police officers. Calmly and without confrontation, tell the officer that you decline to participate in the voluntary tests. The passing or failing grade on a field sobriety test is largely left up to the wide-ranging discretion of the officer. Agreeing to the field sobriety test will allow officers to use their opinion of your test performance as evidence in court. If a star-player in the NBA can fail a roadside sobriety test, chances are you will too. Watch our video of former prosecutor and DUI Defense Attorney William Smith explaining why field sobriety tests will end badly for you, no matter what.
Thomas Law Firm – Denver Criminal Attorneys

Ty Lawson Foul: Saying Yes to the Field Sobriety Tests

Field sobriety tests have long been known to be challenging, even for individuals with exceptional balance and agility. A recent incident involving Ty Lawson, the Denver Nuggets’ point guard, serves as a stark reminder of the difficulty associated with these tests and the potential consequences that can arise during a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) investigation. Lawson’s arrest last week, stemming from a suspected DUI, sheds light on the importance of understanding one’s rights and options in such situations.

The incident that led to Ty Lawson’s arrest began when the police pulled him over for driving at 61 mph in a 35 mph zone. However, it wasn’t just the speeding that aroused suspicion; the strong odor of alcohol on Lawson’s breath raised concerns about possible intoxication. Additional signs of impairment, such as bloodshot eyes and slurred speech, further fueled the officers’ suspicion.

At this point, it became increasingly likely that Lawson would be arrested for DUI. However, the critical moment in this scenario came when Lawson agreed to perform field sobriety tests at the request of the police. These tests typically include reciting the alphabet backward, touching your finger to your nose, or walking in a straight line heel-to-toe. Lawson’s decision to participate in these tests provided the police with additional physical evidence to use against him in court.

So, what can we learn from this story, and how should individuals respond when they are suspected of drunk driving?

First and foremost, it’s essential to remain calm, polite, and cooperative when dealing with police officers during a DUI stop. While being respectful is crucial, it’s equally important to be aware of your rights. One of the key lessons from Ty Lawson’s arrest is the significance of declining to participate in voluntary field sobriety tests.

Field sobriety tests are highly subjective and often rely on the officer’s judgment to determine whether you pass or fail. Agreeing to perform these tests can provide law enforcement with the officer’s opinion of your performance as evidence in court. As Ty Lawson’s case illustrates, even a professional athlete can struggle with these tests, underscoring their difficulty and potential pitfalls.

For a more in-depth perspective on why field sobriety tests may not work in your favor, you can watch a video featuring William Smith, a former prosecutor and DUI defense attorney. His insights provide valuable context and reasons behind the recommendation to decline these tests.


In conclusion, Ty Lawson’s arrest serves as a stark reminder of the complexities and challenges associated with DUI investigations, particularly when it comes to field sobriety tests. When faced with a similar situation, exercising your rights and avoiding voluntary participation in these tests is crucial. Understanding your options and seeking legal counsel when needed can make a significant difference in safeguarding your rights and navigating the legal process effectively.

For individuals dealing with alcohol and drug-related driving offenses in Colorado, Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, stands ready to provide expert guidance and representation. With a focus on defending the rights and interests of their clients, especially in DUI cases, the experienced attorneys at Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, offer a valuable resource in navigating the legal complexities surrounding such offenses. If you find yourself in need of legal assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to them for support. Your rights and legal standing deserve the utmost attention and care during these challenging situations.

Do you have further questions or concerns? Call us or contact the attorneys at Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, and we will be happy to help.

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