Common Arguments About Field Sobriety Tests

Monday, March 31st, 2014

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Pierce County DUI attorney Your initial interview with a Pierce County DUI attorney about your DUI arrest will go over every detail of the event, starting from what you had to drink that night and up through what happened when the police officer pulled you over. Your Pierce County DUI attorney will need to know as much information as you can provide about what happened so that he or she can accurately evaluate your case for weaknesses and strengths.

If the officer performed a field sobriety test on you, your Pierce County DUI lawyer will want to know about the test and your results. Depending on the test and how you did, it may be possible to raise a defense argument or possibly have the test excluded from evidence at trial. Field sobriety tests must be conducted properly in order to have any value. Your Pierce County DUI attorney will be able to tell you if there is a problem with the way your test was conducted.

Coordination Tests

These are possibly the most common type of test performed. They are also very subjective. Your Pierce County DUI lawyer will want to examine the conditions under which you were asked to perform a coordination test to determine if it really could provide an objective sign of intoxication. If you were asked to do a one-leg stand, was the ground even or on a slope? Were you asked do to a walk-and-turn test in a well-lit room or on the side of a poorly lit road where you could not see the ground? Even sober people sometimes have problems with coordination tests, as your Pierce County DUI attorney will know, so the details of the test should be examined closely.

One possible tactic your Pierce County DUI lawyer might use is to have you demonstrate the difficulty of the test at trial while perfectly sober so that the jury can see how unreliable the test is.

Nystagmus test

Nystagmus is a measure of how quickly your eyes oscillate from side to side involuntarily. This too is very subjective to observe, especially to a person who has no idea what the subject’s baseline nystagmus is while sober. Your Pierce County DUI attorney might want to examine your natural nystagmus at the initial interview to determine if the arresting officer used the test on you correctly.

If the improper use of the test can be confirmed by evidence such as videotape, your Pierce County DUI attorney may try to have the test excluded from trial.

If you have questions about how field sobriety tests will affect your DUI defense, talk to a Pierce County DUI attorney. Call Greene & Lloyd, PLLC at (253) 770-0808.


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