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Failed Sobriety Test

If you failed a field sobriety test during a DUI arrest in Utah, you may feel that your impending DUI charge is unavoidable. However, field sobriety tests are not impenetrable pieces of evidence and their aspects of the test can be disputed as flawed. Field sobriety tests are often performed as a way to support the probable cause of intoxication if chemical tests are found to be conducted incorrectly or processed in a flawed manner. Since a field sobriety test’s effectiveness depends on the proper administration by a police officer, they present room for error that can be used in your defense.

If you seek representation from a Salt Lake City DUI attorney, you should look for experienced attorneys with proven track records of success. Joseph Jardine and Peter Goodall have mounted many successful DUI related defenses throughout their lengthy legal careers. The legal team at Jardine Law Offices P.C. have the experience to provide strong counsel and representation on your behalf.

What to Expect in a Field Sobriety Test

Unlike chemical tests, which hold penalties for refusal under Utah’s implied consent law, you have no obligation to agree to a field sobriety test. If you do consent to a field sobriety test, there still could be flaws with how the test was administered to get the test dismissed as evidence. While there are a variety of field sobriety tests developed, there are only three that are recognized by the National Highway Safety Administration (NHSA) as standardized testing methods.

The first test recognized by the NHSA is known as the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. This test focuses on the eyes and tries to identify intensified, involuntary jerking motions occurring when the eye looks to the side. Officers conduct the test by instructing the person being tested to follow an object in the officer’s hand. Along with testing involuntary jerking motions in the eye, the test allows officers to observe possible struggles to follow commands and coordinate movement.

Another standardized field sobriety test includes walking in a straight line to and from. The officer will instruct the driver being tested to take 9 steps heel to toe. After 9 steps have been taken, the person being tested is to turn on their heel and walk back to the starting spot. Along with testing coordination and balance, the test allows officers to examine the drive’s ability to process and perform divided attention tasks.

The final NHSA approved test requires the driver to be tested to balance on one foot for 30 seconds. The officer will look for the driver to lose balance, use arms to rebalance, and touch both feet to the ground.

Failing or refusing will not automatically prove your guilt in a DUI charge. However, you should seek experienced legal consultation to determine the best way to proceed. You should seek a Salt Lake City DUI attorney with experience in DUI cases that has the confidence to build a compelling defense and withstand prosecutors. Joseph Jardine and Peter Goodall have developed the experience and confidence necessary to mount a compelling defense on your behalf. For a free case evaluation, contact us today.