Field Sobriety Tests
About Field Sobriety Tests
On the side of the road during a DWI stop, it can be difficult for a police officer or state trooper to make an accurate determination of whether the suspect is truly intoxicated and unable to drive safely. Many of these pullovers are made based on the officer’s observation that the driver has been swerving, speeding or exhibiting other behavior that could indicate drunk driving. While law enforcement officials are trained to make judgments on this in the field, it is still the individual officer’s opinion which leads to the stop. In an effort to reduce the effect of opinion on DWI arrests, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) developed a battery of three tests, the Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST), which provides a significant improvement in the objectivity of roadside testing.
Unfortunately, these tests, the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, the Walk-and-Turn and the One-Leg Stand, still do not measure with total accuracy whether a suspect has a blood alcohol content above .08%. They are rule-of-thumb tests and many innocent people are arrested and convicted of DWI in North Carolina every year. If the case against you depends on field sobriety tests, it may be possible to challenge the evidence with the help of an experienced Charlotte criminal defense lawyer.
Charlotte Criminal Defense Attorney Serving Mecklenburg, Union and Gason Counties
Attorney Carnell Johnson takes in representing people in our community who need legal help. There are many conditions which weaken the validity of a field sobriety test, such as inappropriate footwear, bad weather or even the nervousness of the suspect. In our legal system, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty and if it is possible to suppress the evidence against you based on the grounds of inaccuracy, you can improve your chances of avoiding a conviction significantly. When you meet with me, I will help you gather any relevant information that can aid in your defense and brief you on a strategy for winning your case. Contact a Charlotte criminal defense lawyer who can help you attack the evidence produced by field sobriety tests in your DWI case.