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Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

DUI Defense Lawyer in Orange County

Standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs) are used by Orange County law enforcement as tools in determining whether to make an arrest for DUI. They are not required by law, and it is perfectly legal to politely refuse to take field sobriety tests. Gold & Witham understands where the weaknesses in these tests lie and how to prove this at the DMV hearing or the DUI process.

Three Main Types of Field Sobriety Tests

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted an analysis of a number of field sobriety tests and found three tests to be the most accurate.

These are called the standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs):

  • Walk and Turn – Walk in a straight line, heel to toe, 9 steps in each direction
  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus – Follow an object or light with the eyes
  • One Leg Stand – Raise 1 foot approximately 6 to 12 inches off the ground for 30 seconds

Although these were found to be the most accurate, at their best they are only 68%, 77%, and 65% accurate in gauging impairment, respectively. Approximately one out of three times, field sobriety test results are not correct. It is the goal of an Orange County DUI lawyer to show this and therefore help a client avoid a conviction and the various DUI penalties associated with this.

Gold & Witham: Challenging Your Test Results

Field sobriety tests are used to determine balance, coordination, and the ability to follow directions. However, a number of issues can lead to a false failure of a field sobriety test:

  • Weight
  • Physical Condition
  • Injury
  • Fatigue
  • Nervousness
  • Illness

Regardless of the specific field sobriety test(s) that a driver may have failed, Gold & Witham may be able to help. We understand what to look for in improperly administered field sobriety tests or an individual with a physical condition that resulted in a failed field sobriety test.

To take the first step in your defense, we encourage you to contact our DUI law firm today!