Field Sobriety Tests in Georgia

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Reliable Defense from an Atlanta DUI Attorney

Unlike the state-administered blood, breath, or urine tests, you are not required to submit to field sobriety tests. Very often a police officer will still ask for you to submit to a chemical test even if you pass all the tests with flying colors. So why should you seriously consider refusing to take these tests? They are subjective in accuracy and validity. If you did take any field sobriety test that were used to provide probably cause for your arrest, all hope is not lost. Our skilled and well qualified attorneys can bring these problems to light and contest your charges using the unreliability of these tests.

At The Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson, we have nearly 20 years of experience focusing on DUI defense. Attorney Lawson has a background as a DUI prosecutor, giving him the insight and skill needed to effectively challenge charges in the courtroom. As an Atlanta DUI lawyer, he became a certified (NHTSA) field sobriety testing instructor in 2000. Through this training, he knows how to exploit the flaws in the results of these tests and secure the best possible outcome for his clients.

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What are the standardized field sobriety tests?

Many times the evidence used to determine probable cause to arrest an individual is not as straightforward as it may seem. Many people simply don't perform well on field sobriety tests, even when completely sober. The tests have been designed to make you to fail, essentially creating evidence to use against you.

The "scoring" in the field sobriety tests are subjective and the results are frequently misinterpreted. While this may lead to your arrest, it also means you have grounds to challenge this evidence in court. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are three basic types of field sobriety tests. Law enforcement officials can also use a combination of these three when assessing drivers.

The three tests include the following:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus: Involves following an object with the eyes.
  • Walk and Turn: Involves walking in a straight line, heel-to-toe, for nine steps.
  • One Leg Stand: Involves standing on one leg and lifting the other six inches in the air.

What happens if I refuse to take a field sobriety test?

If you refuse to submit to field sobriety testing, you will not have your licenses suspended as you would for refusing a chemical test. However, if you have a former DUI conviction, are under the age of 21, or act out in a suspicious manner, this refusal can be used to illicit your arrest.

Law enforcement must have "reasonable cause" in order to pull you over, unless you are stopped at a sobriety checkpoint. They may ask you to perform the tests to get further evidence to demonstrate their probable cause to arrest you for DUI. If you have submitted to these tests as part of a DUI arrest, it is important that you contact The Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson to ensure that your rights are protected!

If you have been subjected to field sobriety tests and are now facing DUI charges, call our firm today!

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