The following article is a guest post and may or may not reflect the views of The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp.
Arresting officers usually utilize field sobriety tests as a means of measuring an alleged drunken driver’s sense of balance, coordination as well as the capacity to complete two tasks simultaneously. Whereas the field sobriety tests can be quite challenging for an impaired individual to accomplish, they can also be difficult for someone who is sober.
Therefore, acquainting yourself with the different types of DWI field sobriety tests in addition to what is regarded as “passable grade” can help you in avoiding issues with the law. Discussed herein, are tips on how to pass DWI field sobriety tests.
What are the different types of DWI field sobriety tests?
Listed below are the three different types of tests that a police officer may require you to perform after stopping you on suspicion of drunken driving:
- Walk-and-turn assessment.
- One-leg-stand experiment.
- HGN (Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus) assessment.
The walk-and-turn assessment and one-leg-stand experiment are primarily aimed at assessing an individual’s steadiness in addition to the ability to understand instructions. On the other hand, the HGN test is designed to assess the ability of an individual to track the arresting officer’s finger parallel to the field of vision. While performing the HGN assessment, the arresting officer is trying to determine “jerky” motions, which is an indication of saccadic motion commonly linked with alcohol.
Regrettably, these tests are hard to ace even if you are sober. This is because there are people who naturally lack balance due to underlying medical conditions. Moreover, there are certain disorders that may produce an “intoxicated” report while conducting the HGN assessment. It is for this reasons that you need to learn how to pass DWI field sobriety tests since there are certain things that police officers look for while conducting the tests. Listed below, are tips on how to pass DWI field sobriety tests.
1. One-leg-stand assessment
While performing the one-leg-stand assessment, the police officer will request you to stand on either the right or left leg while maintaining the other leg roughly 5-6 inches from the ground. During that time, you will be requested to count out loudly for about 20-30 seconds. While carrying out the assessment, the police officer will be looking for signs which indicated failure to adhere to instructions.
On top of failure to adhere to instructions, the police officer will be on the lookout for indications of loss of balance. Therefore, if you are determined to ace a roadside DWI sobriety test, you need to rehearse this particular test at home. Then again, a majority of people ought not to have issues with standing on just one leg for roughly 20 seconds.
The key to passing any kind of test that entails balance is focusing on a fixed body, for example, a tree or house. Therefore, before starting the count, pick an object and focus on it throughout the countdown.
2. Walk-and-run assessment
In a walk-and-run test, the arresting officer will request you to walk roughly 9 steps on a horizontal line, while using the heel-to-toe method. Once you are through with the 9 steps, you will be requested to repeat the same but on the opposite direction. As is the case with the one-leg-stand assessment, the police officer is looking out for ability to adhere to instructions and maintain a steady balance.
You are impaired if:
- You are trying to keep a steady balance with your hands.
- You are finding it difficult to recover balance.
- You are not using the heel-to-toe method.
- You are embarking on the test even before the officer is through with the instructions.
Whereas a police officer may place you under arrest depending on the results of a DWI Field Sobriety Tests, it is important to point out that most of the field sobriety evidences are not admissible in a court of law. Consequently, you need to make an effort of hiring an experienced DWI lawyer after being arrested and charged for drinking and driving.
About The Author:
Christopher J. McCann is a practicing Orange County DUI lawyers at the law offices of Christopher J. McCann, who was recently awarded his 6th SuperLawyers Magazine “Rising Star” award. You can follow Chris tweets at @cjm_law_firm