Field Sobriety Tests
When a person is stopped for DUI, and law enforcement has reason to believe that the person was operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, law enforcement will ask the person perform field sobriety tests. A field sobriety test is a coordination/agility test that allows law enforcement to gauge if a person is impaired by drugs and/or alcohol. It is believed that if a person is impaired by drugs and/or alcohol, his/her coordination will be impacted, which will result in poor performance of the field sobriety tests. While the person performs the field sobriety test, it is up to law enforcement to make the final judgment as to whether or not the person passes or fails each test.
What most people do not know is that field sobriety tests are consensual. This means that a person has the legal right to refuse to perform the field sobriety tests. If the person decides to consent to the field sobriety tests, he/she will usually be asked to perform a series of three coordination tests. The three standardized field sobriety tests that are approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk and turn test, and the one leg stand test.
It is important for people to remember that field sobriety tests are not fool proof, or 100% accurate. There are a variety of factors that could cause a person to fail the field sobriety tests, such as:
- poor lighting conditions
- poor weather conditions
- slippery roads
- wearing high heels
- poor instruction by law enforcement
- medical conditions
Orange County DUI Defense Lawyers
Coffey & Coffey – Attorneys at Law
If you have been charged with driving under the influence in Orange County, you will need to hire an attorney who can protect your constitutional rights and defend you both in and out of court. At Coffey & Coffey, our experienced DUI attorneys have helped countless clients throughout Orange County and surrounding areas fight their DUI charges. We are skilled attorneys who strive to provide each of our clients with exceptional legal representation and advice.
The DUI lawyers at Coffey & Coffey represent clients in Orange County, including Fullerton, Santa Ana, Laguna Niguel, Westminster, and Newport Beach.