DUI Field Sobriety Tests

There are many things that the Court should take into consideration when the prosecution is presenting the results of a field sobriety test. There are a number of things that can affect a person’s performance when being asked to perform a roadside field sobriety test. First, anyone who is pulled over by a police officer, especially late at night, typically is nervous. When asked to perform a field sobriety test, the natural instinct of a person is that they must perform perfectly or they will be arrested for DUI or DWI, even if neither is the actual fact. An experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney knows that the average person reacts to such a stop in similar ways. Other things to consider are: 1) Not only is the person nervous, but, what about the road conditions on which the person is instructed to perform a field sobriety test, as well as they type of shoes being worn. An uneven, and/or rough surface can play a part in how well a person performs a field sobriety test. 2) Some people are just naturally more coordinated than others; 3) A person who is overweight may perform less effectively than an average weight person; 4) Medical conditions can also play a role in how well a person performs. As an example, a person who suffers from balance issues such as vertigo will most likely perform poorly on a field sobriety test.

For the above-mentioned reasons, anyone who has been arrested and/or charged for DUI or DWI, based on the results of a FST, should seek the advice of an experienced DUI Defense Attorney, who has experience in defending driving under the influence charges. An aggressive defense attorney should look carefully for mistakes or failures on the part of the arresting officer, to follow procedures. To be considered is whether or not the officer gave proper instructions that the arrestee could understand. To a police officer, the instructions for a FST are second nature. However, for the average person, it can feel complicated and not clear how the officer expects that person to perform the test.

Field sobriety tests basically measure a person’s ability to pay attention and their coordination. Some people are just naturally better able to pay attention and follow instructions and some people are just naturally more coordinated. So, just because a person performs poorly, or less than perfect on a FST does not automatically mean that alcohol is involved. There are many other factors that can be attributed to a poor result.

If you would like to know more about DUI Field Sobriety Tests, contact Orange County California Criminal Defense Attorney William M. Weinberg at his Irvine, California office at 949-474-8008 or at www.williamweinberg.com