Field Sobriety Tests
If a police officer or other law enforcement agent suspects that you are driving while intoxicated, he or she will pull you over and you may be asked to perform a "field sobriety test." These tests include the one-leg stand test, the walk and turn test, the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test and may even include reciting the alphabet and counting. These tests are essentially physical tests that are supposed to show an arbitrary level of balance, control and mental alacrity that supposedly indicate impairment.
For example, in the one-leg stand test, the officer may require the individual to stand on one leg and lift the opposite foot six inches off the ground. The officer might request that the individual count out loud while performing this task. Unfortunately, if you lose count, hop, fall over, put your foot down, move your arms or do some other action other than stand still, the officer may take that as evidence that you are intoxicated.
Are field sobriety tests always accurate?
At our firm, we know that these types of tests can easily show false "results," as they do not test actual alcohol content in the body. They are purely physical tasks in which failure or poor performance could be attributed to a number of other factors other than alcohol consumption, such as:
- Age of the driver
- Weight of the driver
- Illness /injury
If you have been required to take a field sobriety test and you were subsequently arrested and charged with DWI, you should speak with a lawyer at our firm as soon as possible. One of our skilled and experienced attorneys can research and investigate the situation that resulted in your arrest and build a defense that is aimed at achieving a case dismissal.