Field Sobriety Tests

Over 20 Years Fighting Injustice

Field Sobriety Tests in California

DUI Defense Lawyers in Long Beach, CA

For 30+ years, U.S. law enforcement agencies have employed the standardized battery of field sobriety tests developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Previously, law enforcement had to rely on their own subjective tests and opinions to determine whether a driver was under the influence of alcohol.

Effects of Alcohol on the Body

The NHTSA tests were intended to provide law enforcement with a more objective measurement of a driver's impairment and to supply evidence which would be more reliable in court, but whether or not they achieve this end is up to debate. The field sobriety tests, which include the One-Leg Stand, Walk-and-Turn and Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, are anything but perfectly accurate. Even the NHTSA acknowledges this.

On their own website, they state the accuracy of the entire set of tests ranges from 81 to 91%, with some individual tests being as low as 8% accurate. With such room for error, one has to ask whether these tests should continue to be admitted as evidence in a court of law. If there is as much as a 92% chance that the test is wrong, should it be used as evidence to have a person convicted of a crime and subjected to harsh criminal penalties?

One of the most common strategies in a DUI case that is based on the fact that the driver failed the field sobriety tests is to subpoena the footage from the police car dashboard video camera. This allows your DUI defense attorney to scrutinize the circumstances of the traffic stop to find law enforcement errors such as mistakes in explaining the tests or other conditions which would prejudice the test results against the suspect.

Effectively Challenging Evidence in Your DUI Case

In addition to this, you can benefit from the fact that the Long Beach criminal defense attorney of West Coast Defense is a former Deputy District Attorney who has extensive experience prosecuting DUI cases and knows how to aggressively cross-examine police officers to demonstrate that they made mistakes in the investigation.

To learn more about how we challenge this type of evidence, call (800) 922-6989 for a free consultation.​​​​

The Winning Defense Team

  • DRUG CHARGES DISMISSED Arrested for a Felony possession
  • CASE DISMISSED Arrested for Domestic Violence
  • Case was dropped Arrested for Domestic Violence
  • CASE DISMISSED Accused of Child Molestation
  • DISMISSED Charged with Petty Theft
  • DISMISSED Charged with Reckless Driving
  • Case Dismissed Hit and Run
  • Charges Dismissed Gun at Airport
  • Case Dismissed Hit and run
  • ALL FELONY CHARGES WERE DISMISSED Charged with Carrying a Concealed Weapon