Field Sobriety Tests

Field Sobriety Tests:
Standardized and Non-Standardized

Drunk driving laws and punishments may vary from state to state, but law enforcement officers all over the country use the same field sobriety tests, or FSTs, to identify suspected drunk drivers every day. Police use these tests to help establish probable cause to make an arrest by estimating a person’s blood alcohol content, or BAC. Prosecutors and Defense attorneys rely heavily on the results of these tests.

But did you know that field sobriety tests are optional? If you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, you do not have to submit to these carnival games that you will typically never win.

Three FSTs: What is the Officer Looking For?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has sanctioned three field sobriety tests: the horizontal gaze nystagmus, the one-leg stand and the walk-and-turn tests. Each of these is designed to measure a specific response or reflex that some researchers believe is compromised if a person has been drinking. For example, the horizontal gaze nystagmus test measures the involuntary jerking of an individual’s eye, which can be exacerbated if one is intoxicated. The one-leg stand and walk-and-turn tests are divided attention tests that measure both coordination and one’s ability to follow specific direction.

By retaining Rutan Law you can count on getting the best possible defense.

For example, a lot of times what I may see on an officer evaluation report as to the walk and turn is that the suspect stepped off the line twice or started to early. But with the proper questions, such failures in light of all the steps taken in the test will actually show how well you did. Typically this is achieved by questions such as:

1) How many steps were they supposed to take before they turn around? Answer=9
2) How many steps on the way back? Answer=9.
3) So out of 18 steps my client only stepped off the line twice? Answer=Yes
4) So what school did you go to were 16 out of 18 was failing?

Call Rutan Law now at 614-307-4343 to protect yourself or family from any DUI/OMVI charge in Ohio.

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