Kansas City Field Sobriety Tests
Are field sobriety tests accurate?
Field sobriety tests are given at the scene to establish probable cause
to arrest. The three tests approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA) are the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN), Walk and
Turn, and One Leg Stand tests. Police officers are trained to administer
these tests in very specific, standardized ways to ensure their admissibility at trial.
NHTSA's own studies reveal significant error rates when officers fail
to administer the tests correctly. Even when the tests are done correctly,
the accuracy of the tests is far below 100% when measured against actual
alcohol content in studies by the NHTSA. Also, a person's weight,
footwear, physical impairments, and the lighting, surface conditions and
weather in the area are all known to effect performance.
There is no doubt that field sobriety tests are given a lot of weight by
judges and juries. Many times, a review of the dash-cam video and the
police report reveals errors and other defenses to the admissibility of
Attorney Steve Schanker has the necessary knowledge and skill concerning NHTSA field sobriety
training, administration, and performance to help you win your case. Call
now for a
Types of Sobriety Tests
There are three main field sobriety tests used in the U.S. The first is
the walk and turn test. This divided attention test requires the driver
to walk along a straight line heel-to-toe while counting their steps out
loud. The second test is the one-leg stand. This is also a divided attention
test and it requires them to balance while counting. Lastly, the horizontal
gaze nystagmus test is used to examine exaggerated jerking in the eye.
Although these tests are useful in determining whether or not a person
is under the influence of alcohol, they are not completely accurate.
Kansas City DWI Charge
Whether you passed or failed any of these
divided attention tests was entirely up to the officer who conducted the test, meaning that there
is a chance of error. The results are often prejudiced by the fact that
the officer already had suspicion before initiating the test. On top of
this, it may have been difficult in any case for you to pass the test,
based on footwear, weather, age, medical conditions, or your weight or
other contributing factors. By the use of testimony as well as the dash-cam
video from the police car, it may be possible to prove that the tests
were not properly administered or that it produced a false positive. A
Kansas City DUI lawyer can help you determine whether the field sobriety tests that led to your
arrest may have been invalid.
Attorney Steve Schanker has
more than 25+ Years of experience with
DUI cases and has an extensive understanding of the strengths and weaknesses
of field sobriety tests. He will meet with you directly to review your
case and decide whether challenging the procedure and results of the test
will be an effective strategy in your defense. If your future hangs in
the balance, it is important to establish whether the evidence against
you is valid or if you can avoid a conviction and the penalties that may
follow you for years.
Contact a Kansas City DWI lawyer to learn more about challenging the evidence of a field sobriety test.