Houston Drunk Driving Attorney: Getting A Grasp On Field Sobriety Tests


When law enforcement suspect an individual has been driving under the influence, they will ask him/her to perform a series of standard tests, also called field sobriety tests. Field sobriety tests help law enforcement determine a driver’s level of intoxication by challenging his/her physical and mental coordination and capacity to follow instructions. They’re also utilized to establish a probable cause for criminal arrest.

If you happen to be pulled over for suspected DWI, be courteous to the police officer. On the other hand , do not answer inquiries about what you have had to drink or when.

Politely refuse to submit to field sobriety testing, as this is not mandatory and you cannot be penalized for a refusal of this kind.

The three standardized field sobriety tests used by Houston police officers are:

    • The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN): HGN refers to the involuntary jerking of the eyeball. When an individual is intoxicated, it is believed that his or her eyes are more likely to twitch. During the HGN test, law enforcement officer will hold an object in front of the driver and ask him/her to follow the object with his/her eyes. If the driver cannot follow the object, or if his/her eyes start twitching, then it is taken as a sign of intoxication. (Nevertheless, it is very important to note that Nystagmus is medical and physiological condition that is widespread in a large number of folks, even when they are sober)
    • The One-Leg Test: the driver stands on one foot and raises the other leg six inches off the ground while counting out loud. The driver is expected to stand on one foot without raising his/her arms, losing balance, wobbling, hopping around, or putting the lifted leg down.
    • The Walk and Turn Test: the driver takes nine steps in a straight line touching heel to toe, stops, and then repeats the action in the other direction

In addition to these DWI tests, law enforcement officers could possibly require drivers to perform additional tests, including:

  • Finger to nose test
  • Reciting the alphabet
  • Counting backwards
  • Balancing tests

If you did perform a field sobriety test and were arrested, it is vital to speak to the best Drunk Driving Lawyer in Houston immediately. The majority of police officers have already decided to charge you at this point, and are at this point just looking for additional evidence to use against you in the courtroom. Many attorneys believe field sobriety tests are inaccurate, subjective, and designed for failure. There are many factors that can certainly cause people to appear intoxicated, most notably nervousness, age, lack of natural coordination, lack of proper instruction, weather, fatigue, illness, physical problems, disabilities, injuries, car headlights, weight, footwear, intimidation, and traffic distractions.

Other important advice:

  • After your criminal arrest, you have the right to remain silent. You do not need to answer questions or submit to formal questioning about the case. While it is best to cooperate and be polite, you do not need to answer questions about how much you have had to drink and when. Exercise this priviledge, and you will have a far greater chance of avoiding a conviction.
  • You also have the right to legal counsel. This is a constitutional right that needs to be observed in order to provide defendants in criminal cases the opportunity to prove their innocence. By consulting a Houston DWI criminal defense attorney as soon as possible subsequent to a DWI arrest, you will provide him or her a better chance of making a positive effect on your case.
  • If you are arrested, be sure that you speak to the Texas DPS as soon as possible. You have only Fifteen calendar days to schedule an ALR (Administrative License Revocation) hearing relating to your license suspension. Failing to schedule this hearing will result in the automatic suspension of your license.
  • Most importantly, speak to Houston Driving While Intoxicated Attorney Charles Johnson as soon as you are able to. Having a skilled attorney at your side as early in the process as possible will mean that your rights will undoubtedly be protected and you will have the greatest opportunity of avoiding license suspension and a conviction.

Houston DWI Defense: Houston Drunk Driving Attorney Charles Johnson

If you have been arrested and charged for DWI, and you performed one or more field sobriety test, it is very important to hire an expert Driving While Intoxicated Lawyer in Houston to investigate your case and represent you in court. Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer Charles Johnson will use his expertise to fight the criminal charges brought against his clients and protect their legal rights. He will question the arresting officer’s ability to properly conduct a field sobriety test, and make sure the police officer didn’t violate their clients’ rights throughout the arrest. In addition, he will be dedicated to providing every client with personalized attention, viable alternatives, and aggressive DWI defense.

Houston Drunk Driving Lawyer Johnson will not stop working until he obtains a favorable result, and see that justice has been served.