September 14, 2014
What You Should Know About Field Sobriety Tests
Getting pulled over for a DUI is unnerving. In fact, as a skilled DUI lawyer can attest, sometimes just being nervous is enough to render questionable the results of field sobriety tests.
Passing field sobriety tests is one way to get the potential charges against you reduced or dropped. A DUI lawyer is familiar with these tests and what the police are looking for. Keep these tips from a DUI lawyer in mind during field sobriety tests.
The Truth About Field Sobriety Tests
The first test isn’t formal. The officer will ask you to get out of your car, and your ability to complete this maneuver counts. Move carefully and confidently without leaning on the car door or stumbling. Make note of your surroundings. Is there a lot of traffic going by? Are there adverse weather conditions? Then inform the officer about anything that might impact your ability to perform the tests like a disability or a speech impediment. Maybe the cop doesn’t want to listen. The important thing is that you mention these factors so that your DUI lawyer can question the officer about them later.
The officer may ask you to track the motion of a penlight with your eyes. The idea is that if your eyes twitch, you are likely intoxicated. Any good DUI lawyer can quickly poke holes in this theory as any number of factors can cause twitches. The police also like to use the walk and turn test. Almost any DUI lawyer can argue that the instructions for this test are needlessly complicated. In fact, they are designed to trip you up. You may also be asked to stand on one leg while counting until you are instructed to stop. This is a difficult task for most people, even those who have never had a drink.
A competent DUI lawyer will aggressively question the results of any field sobriety tests. It’s just one more way that the charges against you could be reduced or dismissed.