Smart, Focused Defense Against DUI Charges

Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

            During a traffic stop, law enforcement officers initially have little evidence to support a case for Driving Under the Influence, and many of their observations – “odor of alcohol,” “slurred speech,” etc. – are necessarily subjective.  Officers therefore often administer a series of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) at the location of the traffic stop.  These SFSTs have been developed and approved by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, and they include:

  • The horizontal gaze nystagmus test (HGN), designed to detect “nystagmus” – or jerking – in the eye, caused by (among other things) alcohol intoxication;
  • The walk-and-turn test; and
  • The one-legged stand test.

            Although these tests are often presented to drivers as an opportunity to prove
their sobriety in order to get their consent, the results of these tests are almost invariably used as evidence against the defendant.  However, even when SFSTs are properly administered – and they often are not – these tests are not a reliable indicator of blood alcohol content (BAC) or overall impairment.  It is often crucial that STSTs be effectively challenged in defending a DUI case.

            To schedule a free consultation with an experienced DUI lawyer, contact us today at Burn Law Firm, LLC or call (803) 358-7220.