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"How do I pass the Field Sobriety Tests"

 

The answer to that question is: You do not have to take them.

If a Law Enforcement Officer pulls you over for suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol, they may use field sobriety tests, or FSTs, to find signs of impairment and probable cause to arrest you for DUI.  The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has established three standardized sobriety tests, which are:

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN)

Walk-and-Turn Test (WAT)

One-Leg Stand Test (OLS)

Law Enforcement Officers may use other field sobriety tests, but they are not scientifically validated or reliable to prove any degree of impairment. In Georgia and South Carolina, the Law Enforcement Officer is not required to inform you that the FST is optional. Therefore, you can refuse to perform the FST without any penalty against your driver’s license or being arrested.  However, the chemical test is different.

Georgia and South Carolina both have “implied consent” laws.  This law essentially states that if you drive on the roads of either state, then you agree to take a chemical test of asked to do so by a Police Officer or other qualified Law Enforcement Officer. Due to this law, if you refuse to take a chemical test of your breath, blood, or urine, then your driver’s license will be subject to administrative penalties which are completely separate than any criminal penalties. 

But if I take the tests and pass, then the Officer will let me go, right???

Not exactly.  You are being recorded on either the Officer’s patrol cruiser’s “dashcam” or on his bodycam.  The purpose of recording you perform the FST is so that it may be played to a jury at your trial to “prove” how impaired you were when you were originally stopped.  “Pass” is a subjective and (potentially dangerous) term since you are not aware of what the Officer is looking for in order to “Pass”.  In fact, looking back at the over 1,000 cases I handled as a Prosecutor, I cannot ever recall seeing an Officer write down in their report that a person “passed all FST’s”.

Most Officers are not trained to recognize a person with past medical issues or handicaps that may prevent a person from walking in a straight line or following the tip of a pen from left to right with just their eyeballs.  I can assure you that if a person with a badge and a gun told me to step out of my car at 2:30 a.m. in the morning and make me stand on one leg without wobbling or waving my hands for balance, I probably would not “pass” that test, regardless of how sober I was.

Thus, it is imperative that you retain an attorney who not just “handles” DUI cases, but has actually knows how the DUI prosecutor thinks because he WAS the DUI prosecutor for literally hundreds of cases.  Do not put your case in the hands of someone who hasn’t studied NHTSA-certified material and information.  Call now for more information on how my firm can protect your rights.