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Field Sobriety Tests

San Antonio DWI Attorney: (210) 460-1221

Have you been accused of driving while intoxicated? In Texas, a driver can be arrested for DWI if they are found to be driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or above. In order to determine whether or not the individual is above the legal limit, a breath test or blood test may be administered. These tests can accurately analyze the levels of alcohol in the bloodstream. There are other ways, however, that peace officers can decide if someone is too impaired to drive. These are known as field sobriety tests.

This does not analyze the blood or breath like the other tests, but it judges whether or not the person is able to complete tests which would be simple if they had not been drinking. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are three main field sobriety tests used by law enforcement. These tests were developed to test the sobriety of the driver in question and peace officers are trained on how to administer and interpret the results of these tests. If you have been charged with a DWI after failing a field sobriety test obtain a San Antonio criminal defense attorney from our firm!

One Leg Stand

The first field sobriety test is a divided attention test, meaning it examines whether or not the person is able to do two things at once. The individual is asked to stand with one foot about six inches from the ground. They must keep their balance while counting out loud until they reach thirty seconds. Some indicators that the individual may be inebriated include failure to stay balanced, having to put their foot down, or the necessity to use their arms to stay balanced. When this test was being researched, it was discovered that it produced accurate test results in 83% of the cases. Even though this is a good percentage, it still leaves room for error. If you believe that you were falsely accused of DWI based on the findings of your one leg stand test, we could examine all the evidence against you and seek to get your charges dropped.

Walk and Turn Test

Another field sobriety test which divides the driver's attention in order to determine if they are under the influence of alcohol is the walk and turn test. This test can easily be completed by people who are not intoxicated, but drunk drivers find it very difficult to successfully pass. The law enforcement officer will ask the driver to walk in a straight line heel-to-toe. After they have taken nine steps, they will have to turn around and do the same thing again. The officer will watch to see how well they are able to follow instructions as well as whether they are able to keep count. If they begin to lose their balance or step off of the line, it could be an indicator that they are intoxicated. This test is even less accurate than the one leg stands at 79%. Again, our team understands the ins and outs of this test and will fight to protect you if you were accused of DWI based on failing this test.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test

When someone moves their gaze from side to side, there is an involuntary jerking of the eyes that takes place known as horizontal gaze nystagmus. When someone is under the influence of alcohol, this jerking can become exaggerated. When pulled over for suspected drunk driving, a law enforcement officer may use a pen or flashlight and ask the driver to follow it. If they notice the tell-tale signs during this test, the driver could be placed under arrest. There are, however, other reasons why an individual may fail this test, such as the use of certain medications or certain illnesses.

To learn more, please contact a San Antonio DWI lawyer from our office today!

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