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DUI Field Sobriety Tests in Modesto
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Law enforcement are not allowed to simply arrest anyone and test them for blood alcohol content; they must have a reason to suspect that you are driving drunk. The Fourth Amendment protects you from this kind of behavior in the same way it also protects you from unreasonable search and seizure; a blood or breath test is treated the same as a search for evidence. As a result, police must establish “probable cause” before arresting you and subjecting you to one of these tests, and the most common way they do this is through the use of field sobriety tests.
If you are facing DUI charges, a Modesto DUI attorney may be able to help you suppress the evidence against you based on these field sobriety charges. Attorney Mark Girdner reviews all aspects of your case to determine if you were forced to take a blood alcohol content test properly or if the evidence against you was obtained illegally and therefore should be suppressed in your case. As a former Deputy District Attorney, Mr. Girdner received first-hand experience in learning how a prosecutor thinks and develops their case, and today he uses this experience to fight for you and develop an impactful defense that can help you avoid the difficult penalties of a DUI conviction.
If you have been arrested for DUI, call the Law Offices of Mark W. Girdner today at 209.326.1533 and schedule a free initial consultation!
Types of Field Sobriety Tests
After extensive testing, the NHTSA developed implementation standards for what it found to be the three most accurate field sobriety tests. However, it surprises people just how incredibly inaccurate even the best of these tests can actually be. For this reason, you are not legally required to submit to these tests. However, officers may still arrest you legally by establishing probable cause through other methods.
The three most common field sobriety tests are:
- Walk & Turn: This is a simple test that requires you to walk in a straight line, heel to toe, and then turn and walk back in the same manner. However, even after standardizing these procedures this test is accurate just 68% of the time.
- One-Leg Stand: This test involves you standing on one foot with your toes pointed outward and counting off thirty seconds to the police. Does that seem difficult to do while sober? That’s probably because it is. It’s also the least-accurate sobriety test, being reliable just 65% of the time.
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus: This is perhaps the most accurate and easiest test to administer, as well as the hardest to pass. The officer simply holds up a finger or pen and asks you to follow it with your eyes without moving your head. Because your brain loses the ability to control the muscles that move your eyes, the officer looks for twitching motions. Even though this test is the most accurate, it’s still only trustworthy 77% of the time.
If you have been arrested and charged with DUI, you should not face your charges alone. A skilled attorney can review your case with you and help you determine whether or not the officer in your case established probable cause properly, or if they made a mistake in their testing which can lead to a false positive.
Don’t wait! Discuss your case with Mark W. Girdner and get the hard-hitting legal counsel you need in your corner. Contact us today!