San Antonio Field Sobriety Test
San Antonio DWI Lawyer
Driving is stressful enough so being pulled over only worsens the experience. A law enforcement officer may pull you over for multiple reasons, including driving unusually slow or hesitating at stoplights. This type of behavior may cause them to think you're under the influence and pull you over. Once they stop you, they may ask you to perform a field sobriety test.
Field sobriety tests are one way that law enforcement determines whether or not a driver is driving while intoxicated. These tests are aimed at showing the officer the driver’s balance, physical activity, attention, and more that indicates if the driver has been drinking. These observations are admissible in court as evidence of intoxication. Attorney Guillermo Lara recommends that any driver asked to take a field sobriety test exercise their right of refusal.
What Is a Field Sobriety Test?
Think of field sobriety tests as evidence. As with any criminal accusation, the less evidence that exists suggesting you committed a crime, the more likely it is that you will be convicted. Field sobriety tests are not required under law but the results of these actions are used in court as evidence. In fact, field sobriety tests are so common, that the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration has standardized three for general usage.
- Standardized and tested field sobriety tests include:
- One-leg stand
- Horizontal gaze nystagmus
These standardized field sobriety tests have been scientifically validated. When conducted properly, their results may be accurate. Keep in mind the tests are not always going to be perfect. Law enforcement officers may not instruct you clearly or omit certain actions, leading to erroneous outcomes. In addition, certain circumstances at the time may have impinged on your ability to complete the test.
- Additional tests a driver may be asked to perform include:
- Standing with feet together and tipping the head
- Counting a set number of fingers
- Repeating the alphabet or counting backwards
- Standing and leaning back with arms at side
- Closing eyes and touching nose to finger
You're not required to perform these tests. In fact, you may decline all field sobriety tests. Even if you believe you may be able to pass, it's highly recommended you don't take it. Taking the test comes with many risks, the main one being charged with DWI. Even sober individuals can fail these tests for multiple reasons, as some of them test balance and other functions of the body not related to intoxication. In the event you have already performed a field sobriety test, there's a chance your case may be dismissed.
Don't Give In: Work with Our San Antonio DWI Attorney
Law enforcement officers can be intimidating, which is why it's important you have an aggressive criminal defense attorney by your side. Attorney Lara has helped hundreds of clients win their case. In one case, our San Antonio criminal defense attorney successfully helped a client charged with DWI by arguing a motion to suppress evidence where officers were not justified in stopping the client. The client's breath test was well over the legal limit.
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