Field Sobriety Test Defense Lawyer inAtlanta

Defense from Atlanta DUI Lawyer McNally

Have you been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol? If so, you may have been charged based on the alleged failure of a field sobriety test. These tests are designed to evaluate the following:

  • Your level of alertness
  • Your physical coordination
  • Your ability to follow instructions

When a driver can successfully complete a test, the assumption is that he or she is not influenced by alcohol or drugs. If a driver fails a field sobriety test, the police officer has probable cause to perform an arrest the driver for DUI.

If you have a question about your case or want to schedule a free case review, contact our Atlanta DUI attorney!

Types of Field Sobriety Tests

Although there are numerous field sobriety tests, police officers in Atlanta typically require drivers to perform the following three tests:

Walk and Turn Test:
The driver is instructed to take nine heel-to-toe steps in a straight line, turn, and repeat the same action in the opposite direction. Any sign of the driver losing balance or not following instructions will be taken as an indication of intoxication.

One Leg Stand Test:
The driver is instructed to stand on one foot and raise the other foot six inches off the ground while counting out loud. The driver must keep his or her arms at the side. If he or she hops, wiggles, raises his or her arms, or loses balance in any other way it will be taken as a sign of intoxication. The officer will also be looking to make sure the driver is counting correctly and that he or she is following all instructions.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test:
The officer will hold a small object in front of the driver and instruct the driver to follow the object’s line of motion with his or her eyes. If the driver cannot follow the object, or if his or her eye(s) begin to twitch, then officer will consider the driver intoxicated.

What You Should Know About Field Sobriety Testing

Although field sobriety testing is a standard procedure in Georgia, it is highly unreliable. There are many factors that could lead to a false or inaccurate reading. For starters many officers do not administer these tests properly, which in and of itself can lead to inaccurate results. Furthermore, these tests are highly subjective and success is determined solely on the officer’s opinion. In addition, there are usually a number of extenuating circumstances that could cause a driver to perform poorly, even if he or she is not intoxicated, such as poor weather, type of footwear, natural lack of coordination, a pre-existing injury or disability, nerves, fatigue, weight, height, age, sickness, and much more.

If you have been arrested on DUI charges after taking a field sobriety test, it’s to your advantage to hire an experienced Atlanta DUI lawyer like Matthew T. McNally. Mr. McNally has defended countless clients charged with a DUI, and knows effective ways to challenge the accuracy or admissibility of field sobriety tests.

Mr. McNally will look for errors made by the arresting officer, as well as question whether or not he or she administered the tests properly. Furthermore, if extenuating circumstances hindered your ability to perform the test, Mr. McNally will make it known to the judge.

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