Did you know that if you recently failed a field sobriety test and received a DUI, you can fight the results of your test with the help of a Laguna Hills DUI lawyer? The tests are not always accurate, and fighting your results can lead to reduced or expunged charges.
What Is a Field Sobriety Test?
Law enforcement officials use standardized field sobriety tests during traffic stops. Their main purpose is to determine if and when drivers are impaired, generally from alcohol or other illicit substances.
There are three field sobriety tests approved by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA. These include the following:
- The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test (HGN)
In this test, the officer will examine the suspect’s eyes as they follow a moving object (like a pen or flashlight) that the officer is holding and moving horizontally.
- The Walk and Turn Test
The subject must take nine steps. Each step must touch heel to toe, and they must walk along a straight line. After walking nine steps, the subject must turn on one foot and return to the starting point in the same fashion.
- The One-Leg Stand Test
In this test, the officer will instruct the subject to stand with one foot off the ground. The foot is generally to be 6 inches off the ground. The subject must then count aloud by ones, starting with 1000. They will continue counting with their foot raised until the officer tells them to put their foot down.
Examining the Field Test Conditions
The biggest argument against field sobriety test results is what conditions the tests were given in. Often, these tests are not performed under safe or appropriate conditions, and therefore, they may not be accurate. There are numerous conditions, such as those related to light, sound, and surface that could negatively influence the way an individual performs one or several of the tests. Proper test conditions should be as follows:
– Adequate lighting surrounding the test area so that the individual is able to easily see the ground and the officer
– Sufficient room for test performance
– A surface that is non-slippery, hard, and dry
– The absence of sirens, disruptive noises, and people who may distract the individual
– Instructions that are given loudly enough so that the individual can hear and understand them
In addition to contemplating test conditions, that are other ways that field sobriety results can be fought as well. If you do plan to fight a DUI or the results of a field sobriety test, however, you’ll need the help of an experienced Laguna Hills DUI Lawyer. Contact a lawyer in your Laguna Hills area today to learn more about your legal options.