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Riverside Field Sobriety Test Lawyer

What are Standard Field Sobriety Tests?

Everyone knows that driving under the influence (DUI) is illegal and will be punished, but not everyone knows exactly how law enforcement officers determine whether or not a person is drunk. Aside from administering a breath or blood test, the most common way of analyzing a person's level of intoxication is by subjecting them to field sobriety tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has standardized three such tests, which have come to be known as the Standard Fields Sobriety Tests (SFST). They are as follows:

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN)
When a person is intoxicated by drugs or alcohol, the muscles that control their eyes are affected. Any extreme movement to the left or right will cause the eyes to twitch - a phenomenon known as nystagmus. The HGN test is usually administered by having the suspect follow a moving object (such as the officer's pen or finger) with their eyes while holding their head in a straightforward position. If the suspect's eyes twitch when they move to the far left or far right, they could fail the HGN and be arrested for driving under the influence.

Walk-and-Turn (WAT)
As a "divided attention" test, the WAT examines a person's ability to perform certain actions that test their motor functions while the person simultaneously pays attention to verbal orders. Usually, the suspect is required to "walk the line" for a certain number of steps, counting them out loud, at which point they must turn and repeat the same actions. Losing count, losing their balance, or having difficulty following orders could result in failure of the test and a consequent DUI arrest.

One-Leg Stand (OLS)
This test examines the suspect's motor skills, as well as their divided attention capabilities. They will be required to stand on one leg with their arms stretched to their sides and count out loud, usually to thirty in increments of one thousand. If they lose their balance or lose count, they could be arrested for drunk driving.

Defense against Field Sobriety Tests

The problem with SFSTs is that the results could be affected by factors other than intoxication. Medical conditions that affect the inner ear could affect a person's balance. Perhaps the suspect was on prescription medication that affected their concentration or balance, or their doctor failed to inform them of harmful side-effects. Fatigue can even affect the outcome of such tests, as can fear or nervousness that comes naturally after being pulled over by a police officer. Speak with a Riverside DUI lawyer today if you have been arrested for failing any of these tests. At the Law Offices of Thomas Wallin, we are skilled in uncovering unlawful police stops and fighting the results of field sobriety tests.

Consult with a Field Sobriety Test Attorney in Riverside

Contact the Law Offices of Thomas Wallin today for a free case evaluation. We have practiced law for over a decade and could skillfully defend you from a wrongful DUI conviction. We have also received a rating of 10/10 from Avvo®, and our firm is a member of the National College for DUI Defense®, the California DUI Lawyers Association, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Our legal team is more than qualified to provide the results you need, so call today to schedule a consultation appointment. We look forward to hearing from you!

Areas of practice
DUI Defense
DMV Hearings
DUI Expungement
Field Sobriety Tests
First Time DUI
License Suspension
Multiple DUI
Out-of-State DUI
Underage DUI
Unlawful Police Stop
Vehicular Manslaughter
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DUI Attorney in Riverside
Riverside Address:
3750 University Avenue
Suite 680
Riverside, CA 92501
Irvine Address:
8 Corporate Park
Suite 300
Irvine, CA. 92606
Redlands (San Bernardino County) Address:
1980 Orange Tree Lane
Suite 260
Redlands, CA. 92374
San Bernardino Address:
198 North Arrowhead Ave.
Suite 21
San Bernardino, CA 92408
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