A Skilled Lawyer Can Challenge Field Sobriety Tests
Law enforcement officers have numerous tools at their disposal to keep North Dakota’s roads safe. Unfortunately, these tools can be faulty or subjectively judged. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration admits that standardized and non-standardized field sobriety tests are difficult to perform without any alcohol or drugs in a person’s system. Police and prosecutors emphasize that the results of such tests are an absolute indicator of impairment. They are not.
Juries and courts must be educated on the facts. Many juries just want to know the test score to render their verdict. A skilled DUI attorney must overcome this misconception and present facts in order to properly defend your DUI case.
If you or a loved one was charged with DUI, schedule a free consultation at our firm.
Headquartered in East Grand Forks, Dusek Law is prepared to represent clients in both North Dakota and Minnesota. We understand the stress that you feel when confronted with severe consequences related to a DUI arrest. Let our firm guide you through the process.
Field Sobriety Tests Are Far From Perfect
Field sobriety tests are typically made up of three different activities: the horizontal gaze nystagmus, the walk and turn and the one-leg stand. These tests were designed to measure concentration, balance and physical control. Unfortunately, there are numerous challenges to the administration and measurement of these tests.
- The officer failed to correctly perform the test: The NHTSA has set forth specific guidelines for the administration of field sobriety tests. Additionally, the three tests mentioned are the only standardized tests. An officer who asks a driver to recite the alphabet backwards or another variation on the standard test might have his or her testimony challenged in court.
- The officer failed to consider your physical or psychological condition: In just one example, a test of balance can become moot if the driver suffers from an inner ear infection. A past injury that affects the brain’s structure or function can have a direct impact on the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. Additionally, movement disorders or physical disability can lead to false results if the officer does not recognize these challenges.
While these are some of the most common challenges, the specific facts of your case can lead to an even more effective defense. Do not hesitate to schedule a free consultation with a lawyer today.