One of the most common ways in which a law enforcement officer will determine if a driver is intoxicated is by having them perform a “field sobriety test.” These tests are used to analyze the motorist’s balance, reflexes, and ability to follow instructions in order to help the police officer decide if a DWI arrest should be made. The problem is, the results of these tests are not 100% accurate or reliable.
Allen DWI Attorney Kyle K. Shaw knows this and is prepared to fight your DWI that was based on a failed sobriety test. Many DUI/DWI arrests are based on field sobriety tests alone, without the driver taking a Breathalyzer test. In such cases, a DWI lawyer can build a strong case to prove that there was insufficient evidence to validate an arrest for intoxicated driving. Attorney Shaw has successfully defended many DWI clients based on reasonable doubt that his client was intoxicated.
There are three standardized field sobriety tests that are generally used by law inforcement officers. They are the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, walk-and-turn test, and one-leg stand test.
When intoxicated, a person’s eyes will twitch when they look to the extreme left or right—a phenomenon known as “nystagmus.” The HGN test is the one where an officer holds up a pen or their finger in front of the driver’s face and asks the driver to follow it with their eyes as the officer moves it from side to side. The officer will watch the driver’s eyes as they look to the far left and far right, watching for the twitching or “nystagmus.” If the driver’s eyes show nystagmus, then the officer may decide that the driver is intoxicated and make a DWI arrest.
This is possibly the most familiar of all the sobriety tests. The officer will generally have the driver stand on a line and give them instructions, such as “walking heel-to-toe on the line, take nine steps forward, then turn on one foot and repeat the same thing back.”
The point of the WAT test is to monitor the driver’s ability to:
If the driver starts walking before the officer finishes giving the instructions, then the officers will asses a clue. If the driver loses count or forgets what to do in the middle of the test, then the officers will asses a clue. If the driver does not walk heel-to-toe in a straight line or has to try really hard to keep their balance, vthen the officers will asses a clue. The driver is then penalized based on the number of clues that they are assed.
The OLS is pretty self-explanatory. The police officer will have the driver put their arms straight out to each side and stand on one leg while counting out loud to a specified number. If the driver has slurred speech, forgets instructions, has difficulty keeping their balance, or loses count, then the officer may decide that he or she is intoxicated.
Just because you failed a field sobriety test does not mean there was enough evidence to arrest you for intoxicated driving! Many factors can influence a person’s mental and physical capabilities, such as medical conditions, medications, exhaustion, or even just nervousness!
Many DWI arrests are made based on the officer’s observations and opinions alone, and DWI Attorney Kyle Shaw can fight them based on reasonable doubt of intoxication. Turn to The Law Offices of Kyle K. Shaw if you need a lawyer to fight your failed field sobriety test. When you call and make an appointment, you will speak directly with Mr. Shaw about your case. He will listen to your story and explain whether or not you have a case for DWI defense.
Call now at (214) 761-3361 to set up your initial case evaluation!