“Walk along this line like a tightrope walker.”
“Stand on one leg like a flamingo.”
“Follow this pen with your eyes like you're being hypnotized.”
Are the police trying to conduct field sobriety tests? Or turn you into a circus performer? The good news is that you don't have to do any of these tests, even if if the cops think you might be drunk. Even if you've already been arrested after “failing” these field sobriety tests, we can help. No field sobriety test is 100% accurate, even when fully sober, in an air-conditioned and well-lit room, let alone on a dark Georgia highway.
What are the Georgia Field Sobriety Tests?
Before the police arrest someone for a DUI, they will try and get evidence to show they were justified in arresting the driver. Field breath tests aren't that accurate, and neither are field sobriety tests, but the police will still use these results as evidence that the driver was impaired. Once at the police station, they will have the arrested driver submit blood, breath or urine samples to show their actual blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
There are three standardized field sobriety tests, or SFSTs, which were created with research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). These tests are nowhere near 100% accurate, but the NHTSA has said they are reliable to show the driver is impaired. These three SFSTs include the:
- HGN Eye Test;
- Walk and Turn Test; and
- One Leg Stand Test.
Each one of these tests has its own problems, and reason why it will give false positives. On top of that, if the law enforcement officer does not give the right instructions, or is not really watching carefully, the person tested may have an impossible time “passing” these tests. Making matters worse, these tests are done on the side of a busy highway, with blinding headlights passing by, flashing police lights, in the dark, and on an uneven road. If the driver has a medical condition or is overweight, these tests can be impossible.
The Right to Refuse
The police sure won't go out of their way to inform you that you don't have to perform any field sobriety tests, but that is your right. There is no requirement to submit to these inaccurate roadside tests that often set you up to fail. They are not required, and you have the right to politely tell the Georgia State Patrol officers asking you to walk the line, “No thank you. I have been advised by my lawyer to refuse field sobriety tests.”
Training for Roadside Drunk Tests
Most people who are arrested for a DUI only have one interaction with the police involving field sobriety tests. However, for law enforcement officers, this is their bread and butter. Individual State Troopers and Atlanta police officers have conducted hundreds, if not thousands of field sobriety tests. They know the tricks to use, to get you to fail. But after so many tests, they may not be conducting them exactly as they were trained. They may not give the right instructions, or may not properly observe your testing, which can work to your advantage when your DUI defense lawyer gets the roadside test results thrown out.
Atlanta Municipal Court DUI Defense
Just because the cops rely on these field sobriety tests does not mean the courts will too. Even if you so-called “failed” the roadside tests, we can show how the dark road, flashing lights, uneven ground, or wrong instructions set you up to fail, and can't be used in court. We had the same DUI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing as our Georgia police officers, and know what to look for to get these test thrown out. Don't wait until tomorrow, you can call our office 24/7. Give us a call, and we will tell you what we can do to beat your DUI charges.