DUI Field Sobriety Tests
If you were pulled over and the law enforcement officer was suspicious that you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it is highly likely that the officer asked you to perform a set of Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs). These tests are used to evaluate a driver’s level of impairment and are normally admissible in court. When clients come in and meet with me about a recent driving under the influence arrest, one of the first questions they ask about is whether or not they should have submitted to a Field Sobriety Test (FST).
Many people did not feel that they were intoxicated, so they went ahead and did the tests, and still ended up in jail for the night. In other instances, people refused to take them, and still wound up in jail. As you can see, the answer to the question about whether or not to do FSTs is not cut and dry, as with both options, it is still a possibility that you will be arrested. Whether you completed the Field Sobriety Tests or not, I am here to assure you that there is hope in your situation. I have been challenging FSTs in Fort Walton Beach for over 13 years and I am ready to fight for you.
Field Sobriety Testing
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has sanctioned three field sobriety tests: the horizontal gaze nystagmus, the one-leg stand, and the walk-and-turn tests. Each of these three standardized tests are used to examine a suspect’s demeanor, determine their impairment, give them the probable cause they need to make an arrest, and ultimately supply the prosecuting attorney with extra “ammunition” against you. While Field Sobriety Testing is nationally recognized as being reliable, there are several ways that an aggressive Fort Walton Beach DUI defense attorney can have the relevance of the tests you performed greatly diminished and even at times deemed inadmissible in court.
Challenging Your Field Sobriety Test
At Robert Dees, we believe that every single detail of your case is significant. Not only will we keep you informed about the status of your case, and be available to you 24/7, but we will also be working on challenging the validity of the Field Sobriety Tests in your Fort Walton Beach DUI case. We do this by demanding all evidence against you from the State. More times than not, there is video evidence from the arresting officers patrol car camera or body camera. My team and I look for mistakes the officer may have made while administering the FSTs. While watching the video we also look for conditions that may have affected the outcome of your Field Sobriety Test. These conditions include poor lighting, wet roads, uneven surfaces and misleading instructions from the officer. We often use factors like these as leverage to have charges either dismissed or reduced to a lower charge of Reckless Driving.
Defending Field Sobriety Test “Fails”
I know that if you are reading this page you have likely already been arrested. If that is not the case, I urge you NOT to perform FSTs if you are ever pulled over for suspicion of Driving under the Influence. I have seen over the years that they are designed for you to fail and just give the State more evidence against you. If you were arrested and did submit to FSTs, I urge you not to give up hope.
We will discuss your options and go over the Field Sobriety Tests that you performed and formulate a plan to use them to our advantage or get them thrown out. If you did not do FSTs and were still arrested, we will tell you how we plan on attacking your Driving Under the Influence charge.