Field Sobriety Tests & DUI

Nampa DUI Attorney

While a breath, blood, or urine test may be used to show the presence and level of alcohol or drugs in a driver’s system, field sobriety tests are used to show impairment. Standardized field sobriety testing (SFST) was developed to show whether a driver’s abilities are impaired due to alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicating substances. Performance on field sobriety tests may be used to support evidence that a defendant was driving under the influence (DUI). Even with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of less than .08%, a driver could face DUI charges if he or she failed field sobriety tests.

At Gulstrom & Govia, we understand how to expose the inherent faults found in field sobriety tests, in their administration, grading, and the “science” upon which they were developed. Our Nampa DUI attorneys use video evidence and officer testimony to lay bare the many things that can go wrong with field sobriety testing. We do so in order to help our clients avoid DUI convictions and penalties.

Arrested for DUI? Call (208) 502-5006 for a free case evaluation.

Types of Field Sobriety Tests

There are three primary field sobriety tests used to show impairment after a driver is pulled over for suspected DUI. They are performed at the side of the road by the officer at the scene. These are the:

  • Walk-and-Turn: The driver is asked to walk in a straight line, heel-to-toe, for 9 steps and then to turn and repeat the process in the other direction.
  • One-Leg Stand: The driver is asked to stand on one leg, holding the other approximately 6 inches off the ground while counting out loud.
  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus: The driver is asked to follow a light or other stimulus with his or her eyes.

Uneven pavement, poor lighting, inadequate or improper instructions, prior physical or medical conditions, obesity, advanced age, back or leg injuries, and even the footwear that a person is wearing can adversely impact field sobriety test performance. If you “failed” field sobriety tests, a Nampa DUI lawyer at our firm may be able to challenge your results.

Learn more about field sobriety test and DUI by calling our firm at (208) 502-5006.

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