Ocala Field Sobriety Tests Attorneys
Field sobriety tests are used by police officers to determine if a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. While law enforcement officials consider these tests to be highly accurate and able to determine if someone is intoxicated, there is controversy surrounding these tests. A person with poor balance or a serious medical condition could fail these tests, even if they are sober. That’s why you need to protect your legal rights. Contact an Ocala field sobriety tests attorney who can provide you with a solid defense.
What Are Field Sobriety Tests?
Field sobriety tests are used by police to determine if a driver is impaired by drugs or alcohol. These tests can help assess a person’s coordination, balance, and attention. These tests are scientifically proven to validate intoxication in drivers in 90% of cases and the results can be used as evidence in court.
Field sobriety tests are usually done as a battery of three tests:
- Horizontal gaze nystagmus. Horizontal gaze nystagmus refers to “jerking” of the eyeball, which everyone experiences when the eyes are rotated at high peripheral angles. This jerking becomes more pronounced when a person is intoxicated. The police officer will ask the driver to follow a moving object slowly from side to side. The police officer will assess if:
- If the eye cannot follow the object smoothly.
- If jerking is distinct when the eye is at maximum deviation.
- If the angle of jerking onset is within 45 degrees.
- Walk-and-turn test. The police officer will ask the driver to take nine steps in a straight line, heel-to-toe, then turn on one foot and return nine steps in the opposite direction. The person may be impaired if they:
- Cannot keep balance at any time
- Takes an incorrect number of steps
- Does not touch heel-to-toe
- Uses arms to balance
- One-leg stand test. The driver will be asked to stand with one foot about 6 inches off the ground and count one-thousand-one, one thousand two, etc. until the officer instructs the driver to put the foot down. The officer will look for signs of intoxication, such as:
- Swaying while balancing
- Putting the foot down
- Hopping to maintain balance
- Using arms to balance
There has been controversy over these tests, as they are often administered by an untrained officer. In addition, many tests—such as reciting the alphabet backwards or touching your nose—are not even standardized.
Even the standardized field sobriety tests have not been validated for people with certain medical conditions and injuries, as well as those who are overweight or over the age of 65. Those who have issues with balance and perception may also fail these tests without having any alcohol in their system.
Contact an Ocala Field Sobriety Tests Attorney Today
Field sobriety tests can be helpful in some ways, but there are situations in which they can accuse someone of intoxication even when they are sober. Get legal help from an experienced and aggressive legal team.
Meldon Law has criminal defense attorneys who can help you prevent a DUI offense. These offenses may come with major penalties that can affect you in many ways. Get a solid defense from our team of Ocala field sobriety tests attorneys by calling (800) 373-3000.