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If you’ve ever been pulled over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI), you might have been asked to perform a field sobriety test. Understanding these tests and their implications is crucial in navigating a DWI case. The criminal defense attorneys at DWI Guys Texas have extensive experience in defending clients charged with DWI offenses in San Antonio, New Braunfels, San Marcos, and Austin. Visit our website at www.dwiguystexas.com or call us at (210) 570-2590 to learn more.

Field Sobriety Tests: What Are They?

Field sobriety tests are a series of physical and cognitive tasks administered by law enforcement officers during a traffic stop to determine if a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These tests are designed to evaluate a person’s balance, coordination, and cognitive function.

Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has developed and standardized three primary field sobriety tests:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) Test: This test measures involuntary eye movement and jerking (nystagmus) that becomes more pronounced when a person is intoxicated.
  • Walk-and-Turn Test: The officer instructs the suspect to walk a straight line, heel-to-toe, for nine steps, then turn on one foot and return in the same manner.
  • One-Leg Stand Test: The individual is asked to stand on one foot and count aloud for 30 seconds. The officer looks for signs of imbalance or swaying.
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) Test

Non-Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

In addition to the standardized tests, officers may use non-standardized tests to assess a driver’s impairment. These tests may include:

  • Finger-to-Nose Test: The driver is asked to close their eyes, tilt their head back, and touch their nose with their index finger.
  • Rhomberg Balance Test: The individual stands with feet together, head tilted back, and eyes closed, estimating 30 seconds before opening their eyes.
  • Alphabet Recitation: The suspect must recite the alphabet or a portion of it without singing or rhyming.

Challenging Field Sobriety Tests in Court

Field sobriety tests are not foolproof, and their results can be challenged in court. Factors that could affect test performance include:

  • Medical conditions or disabilities
  • Fatigue or stress
  • Uneven or slippery surfaces
  • Poor lighting conditions
  • Improper instructions or administration by the officer

If you’ve been charged with a DWI, it’s essential to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands the complexities of field sobriety tests. At DWI Guys Texas, we have a proven track record in defending clients in San Antonio, New Braunfels, San Marcos, and Austin. Contact us today at (210) 570-2590 or visit our website at www.dwiguystexas.com to learn more about how we can help.

Disclaimer: The content on this website is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or establish an attorney-client relationship. Do not act or rely on this information without consulting a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction. Contacting this law firm or its attorneys through this site does not create an attorney-client relationship or duty of confidentiality.