Field Sobriety Tests and DUI Arrests
Strong Defense from Mesa DUI Attorneys
In our years of serving Mesa, Phoenix, and the surrounding Arizona State
areas, our criminal defense lawyers here at Naegle & Crider PLC have
seen many people who have been arrested for suspicion of driving under
the influence (DUI) solely based on field sobriety test (FST) results. We are here to set
the record straight, tell you what law enforcement officials probably
do not want you to know, and, of course, defend your rights in court.
Contact us for more information about our legal services, or view our
recent successes for a cursory review of what we have done for our latest clients.
Field Sobriety Tests Compared to Chemical Tests
When you are pulled over by a police officer, they will sooner than later
want to test your sobriety curbside. This is why it is called a
field sobriety test – they are conducting their “research”
then and there. What you are probably
not told is that you have the right to refuse field sobriety tests without
If the officer asks you to submit to a chemical test, such as a
breath, blood, or urine test back at the station, matters are different. Refusing to take a chemical
test to analyze your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level may result
in an instant
license suspension by the Arizona State Motor Vehicle Department (MVD). Due to the fact that
this is an administrative suspension, not one generated by criminal punishment,
even the best criminal defense lawyer in Arizona will not be able to counter
the decision. In nearly all situations, it is advised that you never refuse
a chemical test for this reason.
Types of Field Sobriety Tests
The reason you are permitted to refuse a field sobriety test without losing
your license stems from the fact that even the criminal justice system
knows that FSTs are unreliable. In ideal situations, the outcome of the
test is still 100% determined by an officer’s own discretion, not
anything scientific. Ideal conditions do not exist, though, and a factor
as unnoticeable as a lump in the ground or just anxious nerves could make
you “fail” an FST.
Three of the Most Common Field Sobriety Tests Are:
Walk a line: The officer will tell you to walk a straight line, foot behind foot, without
using your arms for balance. Is the line even straight? Is it drawn on
level terrain? There is plenty that can go wrong here and dramatically
skew the results.
Balance: You will be asked to stand on one foot for an extended duration. We invite
you to attempt to do this now to see how “easy” it is, especially
if you are wearing uncomfortable shoes, have a foot injury, or are husky.
Eye focus: The horizontal gaze nystagmus test involves shining a bright light in your
pupils and telling you to follow the end of a pen with just your eyes,
not your head. If your eye shakes, you are determined to be intoxicated.
Any data taken from the results of this test are questionable due to the
eye’s natural reaction to look away from harsh sources of light.
Phoenix DUI Attorneys with Your Best Interests in Mind
Have you been arrested due to the results of a field sobriety test or chemical
test? Do not lose heart. Find strength in knowing that our Mesa criminal
defense lawyers can still protect you from the heavy and unforgiving hand
of the law. Any sort of BAC test results can be challenged by our skilled
and creative team of legal advocates, and any penalty could be reduced
or dismissed. It is only a matter of taking action and standing up for
free case evaluations to inquiring clients.
Call us today for more information.