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California DUI Field Sobriety Tests

October 13, 2019 Posted in Criminal Law in Los Angeles

If you are pulled over in California for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, a police officer may subject you to field sobriety tests in order to prove that you are too drunk to drive. However, field sobriety tests are notoriously subjective and the accuracy of these tests can be affected by a number of external factors. If you or a loved one is charged with driving under the influence due to failed sobriety tests, you have legal options. To speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles, call or contact the Law Office of Bradley S. Sandler today

Common Field Sobriety Tests

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) developed three standardized field sobriety tests that are used nationwide, including in California. These tests are the heel-to-toe, one leg stand, and the nystagmus test. The heel-to-toe test requires the driver to walk in a straight line, heel-to-toe, for nine steps. Then the driver must turn on one foot and walk back another nine steps. The one leg stand requires the driver to stand with one foot about six inches off the ground while counting to 30. The nystagmus test, otherwise known as the horizontal gaze test, requires the driver to follow an object with his or her eyes. The police officer looks for exaggerated eye twitching and an inability to follow an object smoothly.

Other Field Sobriety Tests

California police officers are not required to use just the three standardized field sobriety tests developed by the NHTSA. Other field sobriety tests utilized by California police include the Rhomberg test, otherwise known as the modified position of attention test, the hand-pat test, reciting the alphabet forwards and backwards, the finger-to-nose test, and the finger-to-thumb test. There are over one dozen field sobriety tests that a police officer can utilize during a traffic stop.

In addition, the police may try and use other subjective evidence during a stop to try and prove that a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This includes driving symptoms, like lane straddling or weaving, and personal symptoms such as bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and lack of balance. Police can also use anything a driver says against them during a stop, such as admitting to drinking any amount of alcohol or consuming any illicit substances, even if the driver believes that the amount would not qualify for a blood alcohol content necessary for a DUI. Because much of the evidence gathered at a traffic stop for DUI is incredibly subjective, it is important that you call an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights.

Call or Contact the Office Now

If you would like to learn more about your legal options following a traffic stop and arrest for DUI, our office in Los Angeles is here to help. Contact us at the Law Office of Bradley S. Sandler to schedule a free consultation with expertise in California criminal defense today. 

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433 North Camden Drive, Suite 400, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Email: Bradley@sandlerlawfirm.com
Phone: 310-246-3900

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