Field Sobriety Tests Lawyer


Michigan DUI Attorneys Challenging Field Sobriety Testing in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Throughout Michigan

When stopped on suspicion of DUI or drunk driving, police officers frequently request that motorists perform a series of field sobriety tests. Individuals who fail these tests may be arrested, as police officers rely on these tests to determine whether in their own opinion a driver is impaired by alcohol and/or drugs, which would affect the driver's ability to safely operate a vehicle. If you were charged with DUI, OWI, or any drunk driving offense after failing the Michigan field sobriety tests, contact a DUI defense attorney with Grabel & Associates immediately.

It is widely known that these tests are unreliable; the results can be volatile, and often rely on assumptions made by police officers, or in other words, their own opinions of your sobriety or lack thereof. We take an aggressive approach when defending clients accused of DUI, OWI, OUIL, and other offenses, challenging all evidence include the results of field sobriety tests.

Drunk Driving Law Firm in Michigan

In Michigan, there are three field sobriety tests you may be requested to submit to if pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. These include the one-leg stand test, the horizontal gaze nystagmus, and the walk-and-turn test. Police officers also frequently ask a motorist to solve a simple math problem, or recite the alphabet. While you may believe you are required to submit to these tests, you are not. These tests are voluntary, so when asked to perform them by police, simply say no in a polite manner.

One Leg Stand Test

As the name implies, this field sobriety test requires that you stand on one leg. The police officer will advise you to stand with feet together, raise one leg, and count aloud. The officer will be analyzing your movements to determine if you sway, use your arms, move a foot to steady yourself, or are otherwise off balance.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test

Nystagmus is an involuntary twitching of the eye, which often occurs when an individual is intoxicated. In someone who is inebriated, the twitching typically becomes more pronounced and noticeable. The police officer will request that you place your feet together and arms down, and then follow an object with your eyes. This object may be the officer's finger, a flashlight, or other object. Throughout this process the officer will watch whether your eyes are tracking together, involuntarily jerking, or whether your pupils may be enlarged or dilated. During this process, police officers are looking for the involuntary twitching, which if determined to occur within 45 degrees of the center of the eye will indicate possible intoxication. While this field sobriety test is said to be accurate in about three-quarters of cases, mistakes can be and are often made; in addition, police do not always adhere to proper procedures.

Walk-and-Turn Test

In this test, you may be asked to walk a straight line, heel to toe as you move forward. This test requires that you take nine steps forward in the above-described manner, turn, then take nine steps back in the same manner. The police officer should demonstrate this test before requesting that you begin. You will also be asked to keep your hands at your side as you perform this test, and count the number of steps out loud. The police officer will be observing whether you can coordinate the heel to toe steps, maintain your balance, walk continuously without stopping, properly count out the steps, and walk a straight line.

Contact Our Michigan Drunk Driving Firm Now

With all of these field sobriety tests there are issues, which could make the results inadmissible in court. Some people who are taking certain medications or have medical conditions cannot properly perform these tests. In addition, the arresting officer must be competent and trained in administering these tests, and prove the fact in court.

Protecting clients arrested or charged with drunk or impaired driving from a conviction and the resulting consequences is our top priority. If you have been accused of DUI, OWI, OUID, or any related offense contact the professionals at Grabel & Associates immediately. Call our toll free number now at 1-800-783-4448 for a free consultation. Contact us online.