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Field Sobriety Tests

Field Sobriety Testing

DUI Defense Attorney in Chicago

If you are pulled over by an officer of the law under suspicion of a DUI, there are a number of field sobriety tests that can be administered. Per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the standardized tests include Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN), Walk and Turn (WAT), and One-Leg Stand (OLS).

You can refuse to perform field sobriety tests, but the officer may decide to arrest you based on other observations. Refusing to perform the field sobriety tests will limit the evidence against you at trial. Many people with ailments would fail field sobriety tests while sober, not to mention in combination with the stress of the situation, possible traffic traveling close by and inclement weather.

Types of Field Sobriety Tests

Types of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests:

  • HGN is an involuntary jerking of the eye. If a person is impaired by alcohol, nystagmus is exaggerated when looking to the side. It is often tested by having a suspect visually follow an object that is smoothly moved horizontally. However, there are many other things which cause nystagmus and many people have naturally occurring nystagmus.
  • The WAT test has a suspect walk heel to toe along a straight line and then turn on one foot and return in the same way. If the person taking the test cannot balance, walks off the line or does not actually put their heel to toe, this is considered an indication that their BAC is 0.08% or greater.
  • OLS is simply standing on one foot for a count of 30 seconds. Swaying, using arms to balance, hopping or putting the foot down are factors considered in determining if the person failed the test. None of these tests are a 100% guarantee that a person is impaired. The accuracy of the tests may be tainted by incorrect administration of them or due to a condition inherent in the suspect. A Chicago DUI attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable in defending DUI charges is your best defense.

Defending Against a False Charge

The DUI penalties in Chicago are severe. Fines, potential jail time, driver's license suspension and community service are some of the penalties you may have to face if arrested for a DUI. If you have had multiple DUIs, the consequences are even harsher.

A lawyer at The Toney Law Firm, LLC can review the exact circumstances of your case and may be able to determine if you were subjected to an unlawful police stop or non-standard tests. Even though the tests may have been administered correctly, failing a field sobriety test does not automatically indicate intoxication. Let Attorney Sarah Toney help you with a strong legal defense in fighting your DUI charges.

Contact a Chicago Field Sobriety Test Lawyer if the results of your test caused you to be arrested for a DUI.


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