Navigating Field Sobriety Tests: Perspectives from Atlanta DUI Defense Lawyers

If you have been charged for failing the field sobriety test, then by law, you can defend your rights. Hire an experienced Atlanta DUI defense lawyer today to avoid jail time and license suspension. Below is a detailed overview of field sobriety tests and how a lawyer can help minimize DUI penalties.

Field Sobriety Tests Explained

Statistics show that nearly 37 individuals die in the US daily in crashes caused by drunk drivers. Drunk driving is one of the top causes of accidents in the US. Moreover, a shocking twenty-five percent of all roadside fatalities in 2023 occurred because of drunk drivers. That’s alarming.

Due to the high rate of drunk driving crashes and fatalities, field sobriety tests have become a standard practice by the police. They help determine the driver’s impairment level by assessing their coordination, balance, and ability to divide their attention to multiple tasks during the test.

The field sobriety tests are divided into:

  1. Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus: Observes eye movement for involuntary jerking as the eyes follow a moving object, indicating potential impairment.
  2. Walk-and-Turn: This activity assesses balance and coordination by having the individual walk in a straight line, turn, and walk back.
  3. One-Leg Stand Test: This test evaluates balance and attention by requiring the person to stand on one leg while counting aloud.

However, the test results are not foolproof. Hence, they can be contested in court.

FST Limitations

According to NHTSA, the field sobriety tests are only accurate in 77% of cases. This is because of some inherent limitations like:

  • Medical conditions
  • Uneven terrain
  • Weather conditions
  • Age
  • Disabilities
  • Injuries

Besides this, sometimes innocent individuals may not be able to pass all three sobriety tests because of nervousness and anxiety when interacting with law enforcement officers.

DUI Penalties and Defense Strategies

DUI penalties in Atlanta, GA include the following:

  • Jail time
  • Suspension of the driver’s license
  • Fines
  • Probation
  • IID (Ignition interlock device)
  • AEC (Alcohol consumption education classes)
  • Greater insurance premiums
  • Loss of employment
  • Car impoundments

Hiring a seasoned Atlanta DUI defense lawyer to fight your case may help reduce or avoid these penalties. These legal professionals have experience in handling DUI cases. In other words, they understand DUI laws and can plan your litigation strategically.  Below are some of the most common approaches they can take:

Question Test Administration: DUI defense lawyers scrutinize officers’ procedures, identifying deviations from protocols that can undermine FST validity.

Highlight Environmental Factors: Adverse weather conditions in Atlanta, such as heat and rain, may affect FST performance, casting doubt on test reliability.

Address Medical Conditions: Lawyers may present medical evidence showing that conditions like inner ear disorders mimic intoxication effects.

Challenge Officer Observations: Lawyers expose biases or inaccuracies in officers’ subjective observations.

Utilize Expert Witnesses: Experts like forensic toxicologists highlight FST limitations and potential false positives, strengthening the defense.

Wrapping Up with Your Atlanta DUI Defense Lawyer

Carlos Moore Law Group is an experienced and trusted law firm dedicated to getting their clients justice. Our seasoned Atlanta DUI defense lawyer can review your case and determine your legal options so you can avoid or minimize DUI penalties. Schedule a consultation today.

Contact Us

Primary Contact Form

Practice Areas

Recent Articles

Join Attorney Carlos Moore at the 99th Annual National Bar Association Convention for an Exciting CLE Session!

The Carlos Moore Law Group is proud to announce that Attorney Carlos Moore, the 79th President...
Scroll to Top