Field Sobriety Tests
If you are pulled over and the police officer suspects you to be driving while under the influence, then they may ask you to perform some field sobriety tests. These are tests of your memory and physical impairment, and they are designed for one purpose: to gather enough evidence to support an arrest. These various tests can include the following among others:
- The walk-and-turn test
- The one-leg stand
- The horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN)
The walk and turn test involves taking nine steps heel to toe, turning on one foot on the last step, and returning the same way. The police officer will be looking for loss of balance, the wrong number of steps, stepping off of the specified line, and other mistakes. If asked to perform the one leg stand test, you will be required to stand on one foot, with the other held six inches in the air for a period of usually 30 seconds. The officer will be looking for loss of balance, lowing foot to keep balance, raising arms to keep balance, and other mistakes.
Defenses to Field Sobriety Tests
The first thing you must be aware of is that you can refuse to take these tests without incurring additional penalties. It is true that your license will be suspended if you refuse to take a Breathalyzer test due to South Carolina's implied consent law, however you may refuse this test as a matter of your right. You also have a constitutional right to refuse to take a blood test or a urine test. If you are able to prove that this evidence is invalid, then the officer did not have probable cause, and therefore your arrest may be unlawful in some cases.
With the proper representation, you can investigate the circumstances of these tests and work to pursue a favorable outcome in your case. I am Attorney Andrew Farley, and I have experience in handling various DUI defense cases. I understand the severity of your situation, and you can be sure that I use every means available to reach a dissmissal or a lesser included offense.