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Field Sobriety Tests

Field Sobriety Tests

When Will a Field Sobriety Test be Administered?

Field sobriety tests are tests administered in the field by a law enforcement officer who suspects that an individual may be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The tests are designed to help an officer gauge an individual's physical and cognitive abilities, as well as any potential impairment. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has created a series of three standardized field sobriety tests that law enforcement agencies can implement:

  • Walk and Turn Test
  • One-Leg Stand Test
  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN)

The officer administering the test will observe the actions of the individual—not only physically, but also the ability to follow and understand directions. These tests are not objective measurements like blood or breath tests, but are subjective evaluations used by law enforcement to help determine whether an individual is intoxicated. If you have performed a field sobriety test, and you were subsequently arrested for a DWI charge, it is vital that you contact a qualified lawyer to fight for you.

Are These Tests Always Accurate?

Because field sobriety testing is subjective, based on an individual officer's ability to observe and evaluate the results of these tests can potentially be challenged. There is no way to determine a basis for what an average performance should look like because there is no way to know how a specific individual will react when asked to perform this series of testing.

Several other external and internal factors that may affect the outcome of the tests:

  • Being overweight
  • Environmental elements
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of coordination
  • Pre-existing physical impairment
  • Pre-existing cognitive impairment

Insight into Field Sobriety Test Training

The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC has long argued that testing for DWI by the use of field sobriety tests is "junk science." The testing procedures and results have not been peer reviewed or evaluated, and are far from accurate in regard to indicating alcohol intoxication. They are merely physical agility exercises that are evaluated by an officer on a subjective basis. Many people, for legitimate reasons unrelated to intoxication, cannot perform these agility tests to the satisfaction of law enforcement. As a result, they pay the price of being arrested and charged with DWI. The first step in defending our clients against charges of DWI is to will immediately review any field sobriety testing results and procedures.

If an officer decides that you have not performed the field sobriety tests to their satisfaction, you can be punished by being arrested and charged with DWI. In many cases, the whole process begins with wrongly administered field sobriety tests. With the daily use of these tests on the citizens of Plano by law enforcement, we see unfair DWI arrests being made regularly.

The SFST Manual is very specific as to how these tests are to be administered. Failure of an officer to follow the instructions in the manual will affect the validity of the results. Yet time and again, our firm identifies violations of correct procedure when the law enforcement personnel administer these tests. If you have been charged with DWI, contact our firm so that our attorneys can review all FST evidence that led to your arrest before the case proceeds further.

Fighting for Your Rights

If the officer fails to correctly administer the tests (which happens frequently) the validity of the results are compromised. Our attorneys can conduct a thorough review of the administration of your tests, and will move forward at once to expose these errors in court.

Get in Touch with Our Plano DWI Defense Lawyers Today!

The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC is extremely knowledgeable about DWI law. If you or a loved one has been charged with DWI, it is urgent that you contact our defense attorneys immediately for a consultation to discuss your case. If convicted of DWI, you are facing serious penalties such as: jail for up to 180 days, and up to $2000 in fines (this is for your first DWI conviction). At The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC, we understand the difficulties and the pain that a DWI charge can bring, which is why we are committed to working as a team to obtain remarkable outcomes in every case. Your case will be meticulously scrutinized by our lawyers. We leave no stone unturned and no area unexplored.

Your freedom and your constitutional rights must be protected. No one should be wrongly convicted based solely on a faulty test that potentially produced inaccurate results. You have the constitutional right to an attorney and to a fair trial. You must take advantage of these two rights in order to ensure the best possible outcome of your case. Don't let false test results become evidence against you.

Contact a Plano DWI lawyer at our firm today!