It is generally accepted that when anyone is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the human body will have irregular response to various situations. These abnormal or delayed responses may indicate the presence of alcohol or other controlled substances. In order to determine whether a driver is intoxicated, police officers may administer a field sobriety test.
If you were pulled over during a routine traffic stop and a police officer suspected you of driving while intoxicated ( DWI), you need to speak with a DWI lawyer in Columbia today. We believe that standardized field sobriety tests were created for failure and that the accuracy of field sobriety tests is questionable at best. You deserve a second chance and you deserve to have your side of the story heard.
Even if you were arrested for failing a field sobriety test, you could still have several defenses available to you. Do not ever assume that you will automatically be convicted of a crime for which you were arrested! At Holder Susan Slusher, LLC, we strive day in and day out to make certain that you are not unreasonably punished and do not have to live the rest of your life as a convicted criminal.
The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) Test
"Nystagmus" is a physiological term that refers to an involuntary jerking or bouncing movement within the eye. When a person is under the influence of alcohol, the unusual eye movement becomes more pronounced. Although scientific research has proven that alcohol may trigger a heightened nystagmus, many officers have improper training and lack the knowledge to properly administer a reliable HGN test.
The Walk-and-Turn Test
Officers may ask a driver to walk a straight line for a particular distance. The officer may ask drivers to walk with their arms at their sides while counting and then turn around and repeat the same actions. If a driver steps out of line, wavers, or demonstrates any type of questionable behavior, the officer may place the driver under arrest for suspicion of DWI after failing the test.
The One-Leg-Stand Test
Perhaps one the easiest tests to fail, the one-leg stand test requires drivers to stand on one leg with their arms at their sides while counting aloud. The officer will observe the driver for at least 30 seconds. If a driver puts his or her foot down, loses balance, or demonstrates other behaviors that may indicate the presence of alcohol, the officer may assume that the driver is under the influence.
An officer may ask you to submit to other types of field sobriety tests in order to determine whether you are drunk or intoxicated. These tests are not recognized as acceptable forms of standardized testing that have been created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Like the standardized tests, however, these non-standardized field sobriety tests are designed for failure and have led to countless wrongful and unlawful police arrests in Missouri.
You may never know what options you have available to you unless you speak with our experienced lawyers as soon as possible. If you have been arrested or charged with DWI after failing or refusing a field sobriety test, you must contact our firm today.