DeKalb County DUI
In the course of a DeKalb County driving under the influence (DUI) arrest, the police officer may ask you to perform a series of field sobriety tests. These tests—the walk-and-turn, the one-leg stand, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test—were designed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to determine if the driver is over the legal limit (.08%). However, unlike a breathalyzer test, these tests are entirely subjective, and are graded by an officer who may already believe you are under the influence.
Both the walk-and-turn test and one-leg stand tests are known as “divided attention” tests, which means they measure both your physical ability and your cognitive ability to follow directions. Each test consists of an instructional stage, in which the officer gives directions and demonstrates the tests, and the performance stage. During the tests, the officer looks for a number of clues which may indicate that your blood alcohol content (BAC) is over the limit.
These tests should not be administered to drivers over the age of 65, more than 50 pounds overweight, or with a physical condition that would make performing the test impossible. Drivers with uncomfortable shoes should be allowed to change first, and the tests should always be administered on a flat, even surface.
The horizontal gaze nystagmus test measures the involuntary jerking of the eye, which becomes more pronounced with the consumption of alcohol. The officer will ask you to follow a stimulus with your eyes, such as a flashlight, without moving your head. The problem with this test is that other physical and neurological conditions may produce nystagmus, affecting the results.
The DeKalb County DUI lawyers at The Turner Firm, LLC have undergone NHSTA field sobriety test certification courses—the same courses taken by law enforcement agents. By launching an investigation into your case, they can determine if the tests were administered properly and even if you really failed the tests. If they can show that these tests were flawed, it may weaken the prosecution’s case.
Even if you failed the DeKalb County DUI field sobriety tests, you shouldn’t hesitate to fight your drunk-driving charges. Contact The Turner Firm, LLC today to learn about common defense strategies that can be used to help your case. Satellite locations are set-up for Dunwoody, Decatur, Sandy Springs, Roswell, and Smyrna.