Fighting Field Sobriety Tests In DUI And OVI Cases
The roadside tests for driving under the influence are well-known. However, what most people do not know is that these tests are vulnerable to attack and even defeat. There are many problems with these tests that an experienced attorney can uncover and use to fight driving under the influence (DUI) and operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI) charges.
Standardized Field Sobriety Tests: DUI
If you have been arrested for DUI, you have probably seen the drill. The police pull you over under suspicion for driving intoxicated and they make you go through the tests: Walk and Turn, One-Leg Stand, and the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) (follow an officer's finger while he moves it side to side). Collectively, these three tests are known as field sobriety tests. Although these tests seem very official and important at the time, the administration of these tests can be problematic and an experienced lawyer can often defeat these tests in court.
In addition to more than 20 years of experience as a criminal defense lawyer, I am certified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the administration of field sobriety tests. I have the same certification as most law enforcement officers who make OVI arrests. This in-depth knowledge of the field sobriety tests allows me to accurately assess and interpret your performance on the tests as well as find mistakes the officer may have made in the administration of these test.
Most important, my NHTSA certification and understanding of field sobriety tests provides me with the knowledge and ability needed to effectively cross-examine the officer at trial and win the case.
Standardized Tests For Drug Intoxication: OVI
There are also tests — similar to the standardized field sobriety tests — that are used to determine whether someone is intoxicated on marijuana or other drugs. In these cases, a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE), usually a state trooper, administers a 12-step protocol that includes both the standard field sobriety tests plus additional tests (such as the Romberg or "estimate 30 seconds test") as well as other physical and mental evaluations.
Similar to the field sobriety tests, these drug intoxication tests are vulnerable to challenges. I know how to examine the record and uncover any problems to strengthen my clients' cases.