What is a Field Sobriety Test? | Wilson County DWI Lawyer

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What is a Field Sobriety Test?

 Posted on July 24,2020 in DWI

Texas DWI attorneySure, so we've all seen this on TV and in movies. This is where an officer suspects somebody of driving while intoxicated. They pull them over, they're on the side of the road, they're gonna ask you to perform a series of tests to try to determine whether you're intoxicated, whether it'd be safe to be driving or not.

What are the three types of field tests?

So in Texas, officers use three basic field sobriety tests and as a former DWI prosecutor, I can tell you that these tests are designed for you to fail. The first test is going to be the one leg stand. In this test, the officer is going to ask you to lift one of your feet six inches off the ground and begin to count. The officer during this test we'll be watching you for swaying, watching you for losing your balance, watching really everything you do for any signs of intoxication. The second test is the walk and turn. In this test, the officer is going to ask you to imagine a line on the ground, follow that line nine steps, do a turn, do nine steps back. Same thing as the first test, he's looking for swaying, he's looking for using your hands for balance, he's looking for you taking the wrong amount of steps. The third test is the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test or the HGN. This is where an officer uses the pen and asks you to follow with your eye. The officer is looking for involuntary twitching of your eyeball. If your eye is twitching, he's going to count that as a clue, as a reason why he believes that you're intoxicated. All three of these tests are called Divided Attention Tests, meaning they're asking you to do one thing physically, while also giving you something to do mentally. It's the same as when you initially get pulled over. First thing the officer is gonna do is ask you to pull out your driver's license while simultaneously asking you where you're coming from. The idea here is to give you something to be thinking about while also physically asking you to do something, trying to come up with signs of intoxication, trying to make it appear as though you're confused or stumbling or intoxicated.

What happens if I don't do well on a test?

So a lot of people don't do well in these tests. Whether it's because of age, nervousness, or even an old injury. There's a thousand reasons why people don't do well on these tests. That being said, it's not the final word intoxication and a good lawyer can educate both the judge and a jury about the pitfalls and the problems in these tests and why your failure to do well might not necessarily be due to intoxication and might be due to one of many other reasons.

I've been arrested for DWI. What should I do now?

So if you find yourself in a situation where you've been arrested for DWI, feel free to give us a call. We have a lot of experience in handling DWI cases. Again, I used to be a former DWI prosecutor. We've helped hundreds if not thousands of people in these kinds of cases and these kinds of situations. We can certainly help you.

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