In an effort to regulate the way in which police officers determine whether or not a driver is intoxicated, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) created three Standard Field Sobriety Tests. These tests are designed to evaluate a driver's motor skills and ability to follow instructions, both of which can be affected by alcohol consumption.
The three tests are as follows:
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Testing - When a person is drunk, their eyes may twitch when they look far to the left or right (nystagmus). To test this, an officer will ask the driver to keep their head stationary and follow an object, such as the officer's finger, with their eyes as it moves from side to side.
- Walk-and-Turn - Also referred to as "walking the line," the walk-and-turn test is where the suspect must walk a certain number of steps down a straight line while counting out loud, turn, and repeat the act. If they have trouble following instructions, forget the number of steps, or have trouble keeping their balance, they could fail the walk-and-turn test.
- One-Leg Stand - To pass the One-Leg Stand test, a driver must stand on one leg with their arms held out and count to a certain number out loud, often in increments of one thousand. If they lose count or have an unusual amount of trouble keeping their balance, they could fail the test.
Defense Strategies Using Field Sobriety Tests
Failure of one or more of the above tests could be considered grounds for a legal DUI arrest. An officer must conduct these tests according to specific procedure, however, before he or she can arrest a suspected drunk driver. If you have been arrested for failing a field sobriety test, consult with an Johnson County DUI attorney from Martin & Wallentine immediately so that we can review your case and determine whether or not there may have been police misconduct. If so, you may have a defense strategy and be able to have your charges dismissed.
Hire a Field Sobriety Test Lawyer - We Serve Johnson County
Martin & Wallentine is an experienced defense firm located in Johnson County, across from the Johnson County Courthouse. We practice defense on a regular basis and could obtain the best possible results for your DUI case. Attorney Jerry Wallentine dedicates 95% of his time to fighting false DUI charges and he is a seasoned litigator. He also has experience as a professional speaker and could persuasively argue in your defense. With him on your side, you could rest assured knowing that your case is being aggressively handled by your attorney.
Contact Martin & Wallentine today for a case evaluation to learn how a member of our team could fight for you.
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