Field Sobriety Tests

Challenging a Field Sobriety Test in Washington

Although field sobriety tests were developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to give police officers ways to look for and determine intoxication, in actuality, studies have shown that these types of tests are not a conclusive indicator of impairment.

More importantly, your performance on a field sobriety test is not objective. Officers perform a variety of tests under very stressful situations and then subjectively evaluate your performance. In fact, you only have to make two mistakes on any parts of these tests for the police to deem you have failed and give them reason to arrest you.

At Green & Ritchie, we know how to effectively challenge how these tests were administered and their results. For comprehensive DUI defense representation, by former prosecutors, contact us today by calling us at 360-450-2434 to learn more during a meeting at our Vancouver, Washington law firm.

The Truth About Field Sobriety Tests (FST)

We know that a DUI arrest or conviction can wreak havoc on your life. It can affect your reputation and can risk future opportunities. We also know that you want representation that knows all the details regarding how these tests are performed, the latest studies about them and the litigation proving their ineffectiveness. We understand the problems that exist in how field sobriety tests are used and evaluated.

Common field sobriety tests are:

  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus test: This test, performed by shining a penlight in your eyes and asking you to follow a finger only with your eyes, is used to determine if there is any involuntary jerking or bouncing of the eyeball, which can be an indicator of intoxication. However, many other factors can cause this condition, including legally taking certain prescription drugs.
  • Walk and turn: Officers will routinely direct someone to walk straight and turn, but people with previous injuries may have trouble keeping within the narrow confines that police set as parameters.
  • One-leg stand: This test of balance is highly controversial since many people who have inner ear problems, old injuries or other conditions cannot maintain this pose for as long as law enforcement requires.

Detailed Vancouver DUI Defense Lawyers Challenging FST

Many people do not realize that submitting to these tests is voluntary and often police lead people to believe they have no choice but to submit to a field sobriety test or portable breath test.

Our Vancouver DUI defense lawyers will carefully evaluate how the police approached you and if they acted appropriately. We know that officers are not looking to see if you will pass these tests, they are actually looking for any evidence they can use against you to substantiate an arrest. They are only looking for errors, so before you consent to a test, you have a right to make an informed decision about how your performance will be judged.

Our Washington drunk driving attorneys have extensive experience challenging field sobriety tests as a defense against DUI charges. We know what is at stake in DUI cases. We will work hard to prove the results are inadmissible and our goal is always to minimize the consequences.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation

Call us at 360-450-2434 or send us an e-mail to schedule a free initial meeting about your field sobriety test or DUI charge with the Vancouver, Washington law firm of Green & Ritchie, PLLC.