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DUI Field Sobriety Tests

Orange County, California law enforcement agencies and prosecutors are extremely aggressive when it comes to driving under the influence or DUI. One of the tools officers rely on is the Field Sobriety Test exercise. These tests are used as part of the officer’s investigation as well as the district attorney’s prosecution. However, FST are seriously flawed and unreliable.

An experienced DUI Defense Attorney will look closely at the police report and at the conduct of the investigating officers. Specifically, any misconduct or violation of rights must be taken into consideration. Further, if a field sobriety test was performed, and this is what the arrest was based on, it should be challenged due to the fact that field sobriety tests are subjective, basically the opinion of the officer performing the test. There are many factors, other than alcohol, that can effect the way a person performs on FSTs. Here is a list of such factors:

– weather
– poor lighting
– uneven surface conditions
– the distraction of traffic, lights and spectators
– the type of footwear being worn
– fatigue
– weight, age, physical condition and natural coordination
– nerves
– intimidation
– the officer’s instructions
– illness, and/or
– injury
Any or all of these factors can effect a person’s performance of an FST exercise. However, these tests are still considered reliable. An experienced DUI defense lawyer should still challenge the manner in which the tests were administered, the bias of the DUI officers and the fact there are a number of situations that can explain a person’s poor performance. Officers rarely, if at all, take the time to consider the factors listed above.

Anyone who has been arrested for DUI in Orange County, California, Driving Under the Influence or Drunk Driving, needs an attorney who is skilled and will gather the appropriate evidence, know how to use it intelligently and efficiently, and render the best possible outcome for their client.


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