Field Sobriety Tests

Carefully reviewing the details of your DUI or DWI arrest

During a DUI stop, a police officer may ask you to perform field sobriety tests to determine if there is cause to arrest you. A Breathalyzer test may be used to measure your blood alcohol content. At The Law Office of Ronald L. Schwartz, an experienced DUI attorney knows how these tests are supposed to be conducted according to federal standards. If the police officer did not follow the correct procedures, there may be an opportunity to reduce or eliminate your charges.

What information is gained from a field sobriety test?

DUI field sobriety tests comprise of a series of physical actions, such as walking a straight line and raising one leg, that police use to determine if you are intoxicated. Wobbling, stumbling or otherwise being unable to maintain your balance can indicate impairment, although alcohol is not the only possible cause for the physical inability to perform these tests satisfactorily. Such tests are always voluntary, and under Maryland law, you cannot be arrested for refusing to take one.

Standardized field sobriety tests incorporate the following components:

  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus - Nystagmus is the involuntary jerking of the eye. This can be caused by drinking alcohol, although qualified DUI attorneys know that there are as many as 30 other possible causes. Police officers in Silver Spring check each eye independently, using a variety of tests.
  • Walk and turn - Officers have the driver walk nine steps, placing heel to toe the entire time, then instruct the individual to turn and walk in the opposite direction in the same manner. Officers look for heel and toe contact and stumbling during this portion of the test.
  • One-leg stand - The driver stands on one leg and counts out loud. Officers look for wobbling and the use of arms for balance.

A DUI attorney fights for fairness under the law

College Park lawyer Ronald Schwartz gets right to work, reviewing the officer's report on your field sobriety test to make sure it was conducted according to the law. He knows what the report is supposed to look like, and the information officers leave out of the report is just as important as what they put in. Skilled DUI lawyers know that invalidating a field sobriety tests can lead to an acquittal.

A DUI attorney serving Silver Spring can meet with you today

Start your DUI defense on the right track with a call to The Law Office of Ronald L. Schwartz. Attorney Schwartz can be reached at 301-892-3410 or online. Don't hesitate to schedule a one-on-one free consultation.