Field Sobriety Tests 2018-02-14T14:08:45+00:00

Field Sobriety Tests


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Field Sobriety Tests

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has listed three tests that are to be administered by law enforcement in order to help in determining if a person is impaired by drugs or alcohol while behind the wheel. These tests also help in establishing probable cause for arrest. If you have been arrested for DUI after being given a field sobriety test, contact a DUI lawyer who may be able to effectively challenge the test results and have your charges dropped.

Types of Testing Used by Officers

The three primary field sobriety tests include:

The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) – This test measures the involuntary jerking of the eye that occurs naturally when a person looks to the side. An officer will have a subject follow an object with their eyes as the officer moves the object from side to side. The officer then measures the point at which the subject’s eyes start to jerk, which is theoretically at an earlier point when a person is intoxicated.

The Walk-and-Turn (WAT) – This test measures “divided attention,” and helps the officer determine if the subject can perform simple movements while following directions. The subject must walk nine steps, heel-to-toe, then turn around and walk back in the same fashion. The officer will look for indicators of impairment during this walk, such as:

  • Lack of balance
  • Inability to walk heel-to-toe
  • Stepping off of the line
  • Incorrect number of steps
  • Improper turn

One-Legged Stand (OLS) – This is another “divided attention” test, and it involves an officer asking the subject to stand on one foot and count out loud until they are asked to put their foot back down. Indicators of impairment in this test include:

  • Swaying
  • Using arms to provide balance
  • Hopping to aid in balance
  • Putting one’s foot down

Both attorneys at Parkerson Santel, PLLC formerly served as prosecutors, including an Assistant District Attorney General in Rutherford County. They understand all facets of DUI law in our state. They also understand that field sobriety tests are extremely subjective and prone to an incorrect evaluation of results by law enforcement officers. If you have been arrested for DUI as a result of a field sobriety test, Parkerson Santel, PLLC can provide you with legal defense that will seek exoneration in your case.

Don’t hesitate to call Parkerson Santel, PLLC at (844) 402-2266 today!


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