Field Sobriety Test Evidence

Knowledgeable DUI Lawyer in Knoxville

If an officer pulls you over under suspicion of DUI, you will likely be asked to perform certain roadside tests. Field sobriety tests are designed to help police determine if drivers have been operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, these tests can be easy to fail, even for completely sober individuals.

If you have been arrested for DUI, it is important to get an experienced Knoxville DUI attorney on your side as soon as possible. Robert R. Kurtz, Attorney at Law, has been successfully defending clients against DUI charges for almost 15 years. His long list of impressive case results in DUI and criminal defense matters speak for themselves.

How are field sobriety tests challenged?

Certain standardized tests are commonly used by police in field sobriety testing. They are not always conducted properly, and the results can be inaccurate, unreliable, and a matter of opinion on the part of the police officer.

Oftentimes, police officers will imply that these field sobriety tests are completely mandatory and that the driver has no opportunity to refuse. Drivers need to know that you can say no to an officer's request for a field sobriety test and it is almost always in your best interest to do so. Due to the subjective nature of the tests, they become incriminating even when sober.

The types of tests administered include:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus: In this test, the officer is looking for involuntary jerking motion of the eyes, which can occur with drug or alcohol impairment.
  • One-Leg Stand: The driver is asked to stand on one leg, lift the other leg 6 inches off the ground with the toe pointing forward, and count out loud to 30. Inability to balance and perform this test could be considered an indication of intoxication.
  • Walk and Turn: For this test you are required to take 9 heel-to-toe steps, with your hands by your sides, while counting each step aloud, then turn around and repeat the process. Any loss of balance or failure to follow instructions is taken as a sign of drug or alcohol intoxication.

If you try the One-Leg Stand or Walk and Turn on your own, you may agree that these tests could be easy to fail, even for sober individuals, if the ground surface is uneven, if the driver is wearing shoes with heels, if the driver has poor balance to begin with, or because of any number of other physical factors.

It has even been said that these tests are designed to make the test-taker fail. Even though the three above tests have been standardized by the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration, it does not mean that they are useful forms of evidence. Most officers are only looking for the things you do wrong and will completely discount anything that you do right.

Call the firm for skilled legal assistance!

It is not uncommon for someone charged with a DUI on the basis of a field sobriety test to assume that they can represent themselves, only to end up facing a conviction. This is because a high level of skill is involved when fighting DUI charges and only a trained attorney can prepare the necessary defense when you need it most.

Attorney Kurtz has a 10.0 Superb Avvo Rating and was also voted "Top Attorney" for Criminal Law by Cityview Magazine. With a reputation for talent and devotion to his clients, Attorney Kurtz is simply one of the best in the area. As a seasoned Knoxville criminal defense lawyer, he will thoroughly investigate and aggressively challenge any weakness in the prosecution's case, and fight to protect your rights and your future.

Conviction of DUI carries criminal penalties and serious financial, professional, and social consequences. With so much at stake, it is crucial to have an aggressive and knowledgeable lawyer protecting your rights and fighting for the best possible outcome in your case.

Contact the firm today for outstanding DUI defense.