Jacksonville DUI Lawyer Explains the 3 Parts of a Standardized Field Sobriety Test

Law enforcement officers in Florida often rely on the results of the standardized field sobriety test to determine if an individual is operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. This test is composed of three separate tests, and the results of each of these tests could be challenged by a Jacksonville DUI lawyer in certain situations.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus

Officers look for involuntary eye movements during the HGN test, which is usually conducted by shining a flashlight into the driver’s eyes and asking them to look at a pen or similar object as it is moved from side to side. The eye movements of an intoxicated individual will likely be more exaggerated than those of someone who has not been drinking, and they may have difficulty completing the test. The results of an HGN test could be challenged by a Jacksonville DUI lawyer if the air contained irritants such as dust or pollen or the suspect performed the test while facing the rotating lights of a police vehicle. Certain medical conditions could also lead a sober individual to perform poorly during this test.

The Walk-and-Turn

This test involves walking heel-to-toe in a straight line before turning on one foot and returning along the same path while still walking heel-to-toe. An intoxicated individual may find it difficult to maintain their balance or walk in a straight line. They may also have difficulty turning. The results of this test could be disputed by a Jacksonville DUI lawyer because the test has been found to accurately predict a BAC level of .10 percent or more only 68 percent of the time.

The One-Leg Stand

During the one-leg stand test, the driver is asked to hold a standing position for about 30 seconds with one foot approximately six inches off the ground. Intoxicated individuals may put their foot down or either swing their arms or hop about as they try to keep their balance. A Jacksonville DUI lawyer may question the results of a one-leg stand test if the ground is uneven or the individual is wearing footwear that would likely make the task difficult to complete successfully. Balance also deteriorates with age, and this test may less accurately indicate impairment when the subject is over 65 years of age.

Contact a Jacksonville DUI Lawyer

For more help understanding the standardized field sobriety tests, contact a Jacksonville DUI lawyer from Canan Law at (904) 849-2266.


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