Challenging Field Sobriety Tests In California

Field sobriety tests such as the horizontal gaze nystagmus, the walk and turn, and the one-leg stand are used by law enforcement to help determine whether or not someone is under the influence. However, field sobriety tests are very subjective and are often disproven as valid methods of determining impairment.

If your DUI charge is partially based on field sobriety tests, it is likely that a strong defense can be initiated on your behalf. Our legal team personally reviews every DUI case to determine if the field sobriety tests were properly administered and evaluates the potential for challenging the tests' validity in court. If you have been arrested for DUI, it is extremely important that you contact the Law Office of Michael J. Aed in Fresno to review your case.

Field Sobriety Testing And Court Challenges

It is surprising how often field sobriety tests are incorrectly administered by law enforcement. For example, field sobriety tests are supposed to be given on a flat surface and away from traffic. In practice, field sobriety tests are often administered on the side of an unleveled road with traffic whizzing by. There are many factors that can affect one's ability to "pass" these tests but which have nothing to do with intoxication, such as fear or nervousness, medical problems, or simply not being properly instructed by law enforcement.

In its review of field sobriety tests, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration found that the test considered to be the most accurate, the horizontal gaze nystagmus, is only 77% accurate even when correctly administered. There are a significant number of variables that can affect these tests and which are not related to being intoxicated.

Evidence of intoxication that is partly based on field sobriety testing can often be challenged in court. The firm is prepared to fight for your rights and challenge unreliable evidence against you. In many cases, evidentiary challenges are successful and result in the charges being reduced or dismissed. It is crucial that you obtain experienced legal representation if you underwent field sobriety testing and were then charged with DUI.

Contact a Fresno DUI defense attorney if you had field sobriety tests administered and were then arrested on a DUI charge. Call us at 559-495-9320 or send us an email.