Field sobriety tests are used by law enforcement to establish probable cause that a driver is intoxicated – that his or her abilities are impaired. After an officer observes driving behavior that indicates intoxication, or stops a driver at a sobriety checkpoint, one or more Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) may be administered: the horizontal gaze nystagmus, the walk-and-turn, and/or the one-leg stand.
Your performance on field sobriety tests may be used to show that your abilities were impaired, supporting driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges. Even if you “failed” one or more field sobriety tests, however, this does not mean that your case is hopeless or even that you were actually intoxicated. These tests have weaknesses. A skilled Houston DWI lawyer can expose these in the fight for a Not Guilty verdict.
At Thiessen Law Firm, we are highly experienced in all field sobriety tests and know how they can be challenged. We have over 100 Not Guilty verdicts under our belt. To learn more, call (713) 864-9000.
Can I Refuse Field Sobriety Testing?
You have the right to refuse field sobriety testing, but you may still be arrested for DWI, at which point you will be taken to the police station and asked to submit to a breath or blood test. If you refuse breath or blood testing, you may face license suspension. In some situations, your blood may be forcibly taken, against your consent (during no-refusal time periods in Texas, officers may draw blood without your consent, if probable cause is established). If this is the case, agreeing to a breath test is a better choice, as they are more easily contested in court.
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Challenging Field Sobriety Tests & Houston DWI Charges
Field sobriety tests must be administered in proper conditions and should be graded properly and without prejudice. Our Houston DWI attorneys meticulously investigate and prepare for each case in order to expose improper testing or violations of our clients’ constitutional rights.
Depending on the case, a field sobriety test may be challenged based on:
- Difficult testing conditions, such as uneven pavement, poor lighting, or distractions.
- A physical impairment that affected test results, such as eyesight problems or difficulty walking.
- An inexperienced or improperly trained officer who administered the test.
- Improper grading of a field sobriety test.
- Inconsistencies in the officer’s testimony and video of field sobriety tests.
- A violation of a driver’s rights that renders field sobriety test evidence inadmissible.
Put our knowledge and dedication on your side. Call (713) 864-9000 for a free, confidential consultation and review of your DWI case.