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Contesting The Field Sobriety Tests Salt Lake City, Utah

Field sobriety tests are widely used by Salt Lake City law enforcement agents when determining if an individual suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) is actually over the legal limit. However, even if you were arrested after failing the field sobriety tests, you shouldn't take this as a sign that your case is unwinnable. In fact, a qualified defense attorney may be able to discredit the results of these tests in order to secure a favorable outcome for your charges.

Challenging the Utah Field Sobriety Tests

While there are a number of tests used by police officers to establish probable cause for a drunk-driving arrest, only three are recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): horizontal gaze nystagmus, walk-and-turn, and the one-leg stand. During the administration of these tests, officers are required to follow certain guidelines to ensure accurate results. However, these tests are still highly subjective and the scoring could be influenced by the officer's own bias.

Of the standard field sobriety tests, the horizontal gaze nystagmus is generally viewed as the most scientific. In this test, the officer asks an individual to follow an object with his or her eyes, while the officer looks for signs of early nystagmus (involuntary jerking). If an individual exhibits a certain number of signs, it may be used as evidence of intoxication.

While drugs or alcohol can cause nystagmus, there are a number of other medical and eye conditions that can cause this jerking. A lawyer can look into your medical history to determine if your failing score was caused by something other than being under the influence.

The one-leg stand and walk-and-turn tests are known as divided attention tests; that is, they require you to focus on instructions and perform a physical task at the same time. While this may sound simple, it's actually quite difficult, especially if you have a physical condition that prohibits you from performing the test are required, if you are distracted or nervous, or if the test is administered on anything but a dry, level surface. Your attorney can look into these tests to determine if there were any factors that could have led to your poor test performance.

Contact a Salt Lake City DUI Lawyer Now for Qualified Defense

Our attorneys have undergone intensive training on the field sobriety tests, which gives them the knowledge necessary to challenge inaccurate or poorly administered roadside tests. They will review the evidence in your case to determine if a field sobriety test defense is the best option for your situation, and will do everything they can in an attempt to keep a DUI off your record.