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Defenses Against Field Sobriety Tests

General Defenses Against Field Sobriety Tests

There are many defenses to the field sobriety tests available to a knowledgeable and skilled DWI lawyer.  First, it is important to point out that a person is under no obligation to perform these tests for the police.  If a person chooses to decline to take the field sobriety tests it is always best to do so in a polite manner.


Field Sobriety Tests like most of a police officer’s DWI investigation are designed to gather evidence against the driver.  When a person does perform Field Sobriety Tests for the police officer the police officer must administer the tests according to the police officers training in accordance with the standards set forth by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).


If the police officer deviates from the NHTSA standards for the administration of the Field Sobriety Tests then those deviations can be held against the police officer in court.  A police officer that deviates from the standards for the Field Sobriety Tests is similar to a teacher that does not give the proper instructions to student prior to giving a test. 


The same way it would not be fair to hold the student accountable as if the teacher had given the proper instructions, a DWI suspect should not be held accountable when the police officer does not administer the tests properly.  This is a concept that the Missouri courts have recognized and upheld in recent years. 


This ruling makes it even more important to consult and retain an experienced DWI lawyer who has been certified in the administration of Field Sobriety Tests.


One example of a police officer deviating from NHTSA regulations is if the officer administers the Field Sobriety Tests on a hill.  Although a hill would not effect the results of the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test, a hill could seriously affect the results of both balance tests, the Walk and Turn test and the One Leg Stand test. 


Administering these tests on any kind of slope is fundamentally unfair to the DWI suspect and is an indication that the police officer is not well trained in DWI investigations.


If you or a loved one has been charged with DWI please call The Law Office of Jason A. Korner at 314-409-2659 today.  It is important to have your case reviewed by a knowledgeable lawyer who focuses on aggressive DWI defense. 


Jason Korner has been certified in the Administration of Field Sobriety Tests which allows him effectively challenge a police officer’s knowledge and administration of these tests.