DWI Lawyers in Albuquerque Explain Standardized Field Sobriety Tests
Field Sobriety Tests are actually coordination exercises. They aren’t conclusive evidence of intoxication as plenty of sober people cannot pass them. Poor performance on field sobriety tests is far from fatal to your DWI case. Conversely, good performance can help your case, even if you failed a breath or blood test. If you are facing DWI charges, you need DWI lawyers in Albuquerque who will study the results of your field sobriety tests and your breath or blood test and devise the best strategy for your defense.
What Does Standardized Mean?
There are three tests that officers typically administer to drivers stopped on suspicion of DUI/DWI. They are:
These three tests are called Standardized Field Sobriety Tests because they were studied by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which devised standard methods or testing protocols for administering them. As a result of the studies, NHTSA concluded that these three tests showed a good correlation with driving impairment when (1) they were given together and (2) the officer closely followed the testing protocols.
Why SFSTs Can Be Unreliable
SFSTs are unreliable indicators of intoxication because:
- The scientific data supporting them is questionable.
- The officer’s evaluation of a person’s performance is subjective. In other words, whether you pass or fail a field sobriety test depends entirely on the officer’s perceptions.
- The officer doesn’t know how the person would perform normally so has no baseline with which to compare the person’s performance during the DWI stop.
- Age, weight, medical conditions, medications, and other factors can affect the person’s performance.
- Environmental conditions and distractions at the site of the test can affect a person’s performance.
- The officer may have made errors administering the test or evaluating the results.
If you did not perform well on SFSTs, your DWI lawyers in Albuquerque can ask the judge to throw out the results on the grounds that the tests have not been proven to be a reliable indicator of intoxication. If the officer didn’t follow the correct procedures, your DWI lawyers can ask the judge to keep the tests out on the ground that they are valid only if the officer followed the accepted protocols.
Even if the judge allows the SFST evidence in, experienced DWI lawyers in Albuquerque know how to bring out the errors and weaknesses in the tests when cross-examining the officer and explaining your case to the jury.
Contact Experienced Albuquerque DWI Lawyers
If you have been charged with DWI and want to talk your case over with a trustworthy DWI lawyer, call Salim A. Khayoumi at 505-333-8613.