Field Sobriety Tests
Can they be challenged?
If you were recently arrested for
DUI, you were likely asked to perform a series of roadside tests called Standardized
Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs). If these tests did not go well, then we
would like to help.
At Davis & Hoss, PC, we have been challenging field sobriety tests
for over 25 years, over which time we have defended thousands of DUI cases.
All DUI evidence is open to question and evidence from field sobriety
tests is no exception!
Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs)
The Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) is a battery of three tests
that are administered by law enforcement to obtain probable cause to make
a DUI arrest. These tests are supposed to help the police acquire evidence
that someone is intoxicated.
The three SFSTs include:
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN)
- One-Leg Stand
In the typical scenario, the police officer observes the defendant speeding
or driving erratically and initiates a traffic stop. Based on the officer's
observations, the officer conducts a DUI investigation and has the defendant
submit to the standardized field sobriety tests.
The defendant is then arrested and charged with driving under the influence
of alcohol in violation of 55-10-401.
Questioning Field Sobriety Test Evidence in Court
Chattanooga DUI attorneys, we can tell you without a doubt that field sobriety testing evidence
is open to question. An officer can administer tests but not in accordance
with the standardized field training manual used by the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
When this occurs, and it does, the issue raised is not whether the tests
are admissible, but rather, whether or not they are reliable since the
officer admits that the tests were not administered according to NHTSA
SFST Evidence is Not Beyond Challenge
Of all three tests, the HGN test is considered to be the most accurate
and effective method of detecting alcohol impairment; however, the results
of the HGN test are not conclusive and the validity of HGN tests and the
other tests are not beyond challenge.
If we can show that the evidence from field sobriety tests is unsound,
then we may be able to persuade the trial court to bar its admission.
It is our ultimate goal to show the court that the test results are infirm.
If you are facing DUI charges,
contact our firm right away. We concentrate a great deal of our practice on
DUI defense and we can help you too!