Field sobriety tests play a crucial role in determining whether a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, these tests are not always accurate and can present challenges for both law enforcement officers and criminal defense attorneys. In this blog, we will explore the accuracy and challenges of field sobriety tests in Georgia DUI cases and provide useful tips for those facing DUI charges.
1. The Three Standardized Field Sobriety Tests
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has established three standardized field sobriety tests that officers use to determine if a driver is impaired:
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) Test: The officer observes the driver's eyes as they follow a moving object, looking for involuntary jerking movements.
- Walk-and-Turn Test: The driver is instructed to walk heel-to-toe in a straight line, turn around, and walk back in the same manner.
- One-Leg Stand Test: The driver is asked to stand on one foot while counting aloud until instructed to stop.
While these tests are widely used, they are not always accurate. According to a NHTSA study, the HGN test has an accuracy rate of 77%, the walk-and-turn test has an accuracy rate of 68%, and the one-leg stand test has an accuracy rate of 65%.
2. Factors That Can Affect Field Sobriety Test Results
Various factors can affect the results of field sobriety tests, leading to false positives. Some of these factors include:
- Medical conditions, such as inner ear problems or neurological disorders
- Physical disabilities or injuries
- Fatigue or stress
- Uneven or slippery road surfaces
- Poor lighting conditions
- Improper administration of the tests by the officer
It is essential to inform the officer of any medical conditions or physical limitations that could affect your performance on the tests. Additionally, if you believe that the tests were administered improperly, it is crucial to consult with an experienced DUI attorney who can review the evidence and challenge the test results.
3. Challenging Field Sobriety Test Results in Court
Challenging the results of field sobriety tests can be a crucial part of a successful DUI defense strategy. A skilled DUI attorney can:
- Review the officer's training and qualifications to administer the tests
- Examine the conditions under which the tests were conducted
- Investigate whether the tests were administered according to the NHTSA guidelines
- Present evidence of medical conditions or physical limitations that could have affected the test results
By challenging the accuracy and validity of the field sobriety tests, a knowledgeable DUI attorney can help you fight the charges and protect your rights.
Get Help from The Dickerson Firm LLC
If you are facing DUI charges in Georgia, it is crucial to have a skilled attorney on your side who understands the complexities of field sobriety tests and can challenge their accuracy in court. The Dickerson Firm LLC has extensive experience in handling DUI cases and can provide the aggressive representation you need to protect your rights and your future.
Contact The Dickerson Firm LLC today to schedule a consultation and discuss your case with a knowledgeable DUI attorney who can help you navigate the challenges of field sobriety tests in Georgia DUI cases.