Field Sobriety Tests & DUI Charges

Field sobriety tests are conducted by law enforcement in the event that they pull a driver over for suspected DUI. Even when a driver has failed a field sobriety test or tests, and is arrested for DUI, a Long Beach DUI lawyer with the necessary knowledge and experience may be able to contest the results and successfully help the driver avoid a conviction and the penalties along with it.

Information About Field Sobriety Tests

After a driver has pulled a driver over for suspected DUI, the officer will approach the vehicle and observe any outward signs of intoxication on the part of the driver (ex: bloodshot eyes). If the officer still has reason to believe the driver may be driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, he/she may ask the driver to come out of the car and perform several field sobriety tests.

While there are many different field sobriety tests, there are three known as "Standardized Field Sobriety Tests." These were developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus: This tests the jerking of an eye by asking the subject to follow the horizontal motion of an object being held before them.
  • Walk-and-Turn: This is one of the most well-known tests, which involves a subject taking nine steps with heel touching toe on a straight line, turning on one foot, and returning.
  • One-Leg Stand: Another example of a "divided attention" test, this involves the subject standing with one of their feet held six inches off the ground while they count aloud.

Field Sobriety Tests Can Be Challenged: Call Now!

While used commonly, a field sobriety test cannot indicate with 100% accuracy whether a driver is under the influence of alcohol/drugs. The results of a field sobriety may indicate severe intoxication, but the problem is that even a sober individual, under certain circumstances, may be unable to perform a field sobriety test and pass. Illness, tiredness or a physical condition may skew the results of a field sobriety test. It is up to your Long Beach DUI defense lawyer to work to defend your case, even in light of failed field sobriety testing.

For this reason, we encourage you to contact our Long Beach DUI firm immediately.

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