Field Sobriety Tests in Idaho

What Are Field Sobriety Tests?

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.

At Govia Law PC., 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 attorney uses 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.

Purpose of Field Sobriety Tests

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.

Field Sobriety Test Defense Strategies

There are a variety of factors that can adversely impact field sobriety test performance, including:

  • Uneven pavement
  • Poor lighting
  • Inadequate or improper instructions
  • Prior physical or medical conditions
  • Obesity
  • Advanced age
  • Back or leg injuries
  • The footwear a person is wearing

If you “failed” a field sobriety test, our DUI defense lawyer in Nampa may be able to challenge your results.

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

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