What You Need to Know About Field Sobriety Tests (Part 2)

January 13, 2014

 

Did you know that there are only 3 standard field sobriety tests? Check out these facts about field sobriety tests – they can be crucial to a DUI defense case.

Did you know that there are only 3 standard field sobriety tests? Check out these facts about field sobriety tests – they can be crucial to a DUI defense case.

Picking up from What You Need to Know About Field Sobriety Tests (Part 1)¸ here are two additional facts that are important for all motorists to know when it comes to field sobriety tests and DUIs. 

  • Fact 3: There are only 3 standard tests; the rest may be made up by cops – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has developed 3 standard field sobriety tests (SFSTs) as a way for police to consistently try to assess whether drivers may be intoxicated. These tests include the horizontal gaze nystagmus test (to check if the drivers’ eyes may twitch, which could indicate intoxication); the walk and turn test (to see if drivers have difficulty walking or balancing, which could indicate they may be drunk); and the one-leg stand (again to test drivers’ balance).Other so-called field sobriety tests that police may perform – like counting tests or tests that require drivers to say the Alphabet backwards – are not part of the SFSTs developed by the NHTSA and, as such, do not tend to have objective ways of evaluating alleged intoxication.
  • Fact 4: The standards for judging the results of field sobriety tests are very subjective – Even the standard field sobriety tests developed by the NHTSA do not have specifically objective guidelines for determining whether drivers are drunk, as these tests tend to “deduct” points if drivers mess up, but they don’t “add” points when drivers do something correctly.Additionally, there can be factors other than intoxication that may cause drivers to “fail” field sobriety tests, and these tests don’t account for such factors. For example, drivers may have medical conditions, such as inner ear conditions and/or allergies, that impact their ability to pass SFSTs, and a fail on these tests does not elucidate whether these medical conditions or intoxication may be to blame.

Contact the Boulder and Denver Area DUI Defense Lawyer at the Griffin Law Firm

Facing any type of criminal charges can be both scary and stressful, as a conviction could cost you your reputation, your career, your family and even your freedom. If you or your loved one has been arrested for and/or formally charged with any crime, Christopher Griffin wants you to know that he is ready to immediately start providing you with the strongest possible defense against police and prosecutors – both outside and inside of the courtroom.

Regardless of whether you are facing criminal charges for the first time, have prior convictions and/or were on probation or parole at the time of the alleged crime, Christopher Griffin and all of the legal professionals at the Griffin Law Firm will work relentlessly to help you obtain the best possible outcome to your case. In fact, our steadfast dedication to the notion that the accused are innocent until proven guilty means that we will do everything in our power to help you resolve your case in the most favorable and efficient manner possible.

To receive a complete evaluation of your case, along with professional advice regarding your best options, contact us by calling 303-280-1070 or by emailing us using the form at the top of this page.

Categories: Blogs, Criminal Defense Strategies, DUI, DUI Defense, Field Sobriety Test, Front Range Criminal Defense Lawyer