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.