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Field Sobriety Tests

Field Sobriety Tests in Solano County, CA

What is a field sobriety test & how do they work?

If you have ever been pulled over for suspected drunk driving, you may have been asked to step out of the vehicle and participate in a series of field sobriety tests.

These tests were designed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as a way to help law enforcement officers evaluate an individual's ability to perform cognitive and physical functions during a roadside DUI investigation—as both are typically impaired by the effects of alcohol and drugs. Among them include the Walk and Turn, the One-Leg Stand and the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus.

While an officer administers these tests, they will look for signs of intoxication. They may deduct a point if the driver:

One-Leg Stand

  • Uses their arms to maintain balance
  • Sways while attempting to balance
  • Hops around to maintain balance
  • Puts their foot down during the test

Walk and Turn

  • Uses their arms to maintain balance
  • Fails to comply with the directions
  • Strays from the straight line
  • Fails to touch their heels to their toes

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus

  • Displays an onset of nystagmus at 45°
  • Displays a lack of smooth eye movement
  • Displays jerkiness as their eyes focus
  • Fails to track a moving object with their eyes

Am I legally required to take a field sobriety test in California?

Although most law enforcement officers will ask you to perform a series of field sobriety tests if they suspect that you have been driving under the influence (DUI), what you may not know is that you are under no obligation to comply. Some experts believe that these tests have been designed for failure, which means that you may perform poorly even if you are sober. For this reason, most Solano County DUI lawyers would recommend that you politely invoke your right to decline; however, it is important to note that you cannot refuse to take a chemical test (i.e. breath, blood or urine) without being penalized—which, in the state of California, includes a fine and the suspension of your license.

Contact Our Solano County DUI Lawyers for a Free Consultation

If you have been arrested for DUI after taking and failing a field sobriety test, it may be in your best interests to retain the help of the Solano County DUI defense attorneys from Maas and Russo as soon as possible. Our legal team is experienced in challenging DUI evidence—especially evidence that is based on one officer's subjective option. For this reason, you should not hesitate to find out what we can do for you.

Call our office today at (800) 483-0992 for a free consultation or submit a free case evaluation form online.

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