Atlanta, Georgia Field Sobriety Tests
Many people do not realize field sobriety tests are entirely voluntarily. Unlike an evidentiary breathalyzer test, you can refuse to perform these tests without suffering any consequences. Unfortunately, you could still be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) if the officer believes that you are too impaired to drive—and this decision could be based on your driving, appearance, or behavior.
The sad fact is that many police officers have to meet their quota of arrests each month in order to remain on the DUI task force. Sometimes, the officer may pressure drivers to take the field sobriety tests by saying things like “why won’t you take it if you haven’t been drinking?” Regardless of what the officer says, however, you have the right to decline these tests, and you may ask to speak with your lawyer for advice. Field sobriety tests are notoriously difficult to pass and are entirely subjective; after all, they are being graded by an officer who already thinks you are under the influence.
The three standardized field sobriety tests are the one-leg stand, the walk-and-turn, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus. Both the one-leg stand and walk-and-turn tests measure your physical and cognitive abilities. Consisting of both an instruction and performance stage, the officer will look for “clues” of intoxication during these tests.
The horizontal gaze nystagmus measures the jerking of the eye that becomes more pronounced when an individual is intoxicated. The officer will ask you to follow a small object, such as a penlight, with your eyes while keeping your head still. If your eyes jerk before maximum deviation, or the jerking is very pronounced, you will fail the test.
Attorney Lee Webb has received a certificate of proficiency for the NHTSA standardized field sobriety evaluations instructor course, as well as a certificate of completion for the NHTSA standardized field sobriety testing 20-hour practitioner course. His extensive training allows him to investigate your field sobriety test in order to prepare a strong defense.
For a free consultation with Mr. Webb, please schedule an appointment by submitting your information on our online form today.