Thursday, April 24, 2014

Field Sobriety Tests – Fight the Evidence

When drivers are stopped for suspected drunk driving, one of the most common methods used by officers to determine whether or not they are intoxicated is administering field sobriety tests. If you consent to field sobriety testing, the officer will administer any of the following tests:

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus – checks for involuntary jerking of the eyes when intoxicated.

One-Leg Stand – tests the driver’s ability to divide their attention between simple tasks, as they must stand on one leg while counting out loud.

Walk-And-Turn – tests the driver’s ability to follow directions while dividing their attention, because they must take nine heal-to-toe steps while walking on a straight line, then turn on one foot and return to the start in the same manner.

Evidence obtained from field sobriety testing is not bullet proof, and there are numerous factors that could negatively impact a sober person’s results. Some of the factors that could have affected your ability to correctly perform the tests include:
  • You were unable to hear the officer’s instructions over the noise of traffic
  • The officer’s instructions were unclear
  • You were distracted by the noise and lights of passing traffic
  • You did not understand the officer’s instructions because of a language barrier
  • You were extremely nervous or embarrassed
  • The ground was slippery, wet, or covered with a substance that made it difficult to walk on
  • You were wearing unstable footwear, such as high heels or sandals, which made the tests difficult to perform
  • You had trouble performing the tests because you have a physical disability or are overweight
  • You suffer from a preexisting medical condition that negatively impacted your test results
Failing your field sobriety tests does not mean that you will automatically be convicted of DUI. It’s important to understand that you have the opportunity to fight the charges. Your attorney can evaluate your specific situation and determine your defense options.

We encourage you to contact De Castroverde Law Group to learn how our experienced defense lawyers can help you challenge DUI charges in the Las Vegas area.