Here’s how the story goes: you get pulled over by a police officer who suspects your car swerved a bit. The officer asks if you have been drinking and before you know it you are on the street walking an imaginary line, following a pen with your eyes and standing on one leg. You might be asked to count backwards or pick up coins of the road or some other goofy thing. The only judge of your performance is an officer who suspects you in the first place. The results of these tests are so biased that the officer might as well ask you to juggle while on a unicycle, or do a handstand on one hand, or do the Macarena!
Even if we just focus on the three field sobriety tests standardized by the National Highway Traffic Administration (the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk-and-turn test, and the one-leg stand), one can easily see that these tests are not specific to intoxication. Anyone can stumble when asked to stand on one leg for various reasons. For example back or leg conditions, old age, weakness, weight, clumsiness and the huge amount of stress and fear that person is experiencing can all cause a driver to stumble when asked to do these acrobatics. Unfortunately, the officer sees that stumble as drunkenness.
One of the best ways to challenge a field sobriety test is to watch the dash camera video (if one exists) and conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances around the arrest. Your attorney must have taken classes in pharmacology and also in the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests so that they can issue spot any disconnect between the alleged results and reality. At The McShane Firm, we are exhaustive when it comes to getting down to the details of what happened and using the truth to defend our clients. All of our attorneys have passed Instructor level courses in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing as well as drug impaired driving courses with full knowledge of the ins and outs of these tests. We are better trained then the police. The McShane Firm, ready to fight your case. Call 1.866.McShane.
One response to “Field Sobriety Circus”
Am I under arrest? If I am not under arrest, I respectfully refuse to leave my car. Am I free to go?