What is a Field Sobriety Test?
Field sobriety tests (FST) are coordination tests used by law enforcement officers to analyze whether a person has been impaired by alcohol and/or drugs. If it's believed that a person was driving under the influence, the law enforcement officer may ask the driver to perform a series of agility tests before making a judgment call to arrest the person for DUI.
Field Sobriety Testing and the DUI Arrest
In the case of a traffic stop for suspected DUI, the officer may ask the driver to perform field sobriety tests. It is the police officer's decision to decide whether the person has passed or failed these tests. The detaining officer must carefully observe the driver's balance and coordination during these tests. The police officer then decides whether the driver has followed the instructions correctly. The common belief is that if a driver is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, she/he will have impaired coordination and therefore, will not pass the field sobriety test.
Standardization of Field Sobriety Tests
The National Highway Safety & Traffic Administration, or NHSTA, has regulated field sobriety testing over the years. Presently, three field sobriety tests have been NHSTA standardized. These standardized field sobriety tests are the Walk & Turn, One Leg Stand and the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus.
Inaccuracies Found In Field Sobriety Testing
A commonly held mistaken belief is that field sobriety tests can accurately tell if a driver has been impaired by alcohol and/or drugs. Actually, many people can fail these field sobriety tests for numerous reasons. Poor footing, dim lighting, slippery roadway, inadequate instructions and even medical conditions may legitimately cause the person to fail the test.
Sacramento DUI Lawyer
If you or a family member has been charged with DUI in Sacramento or the nearby communities, it is vital to contact a knowledgeable DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. The Law Office of John Campanella has argued more than one thousand cases since 1996. Mr. Campanella knows that DUI charges are serious and require immediate and careful attention by an expert defender. When it comes to successfully representing your rights in a DUI case, the Law Office of John Campanella will give you the best, most thorough and most strategic defense in your DUI case.