Field Sobriety Tests

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Field Sobriety Test Defense in McKinney

DWI Defense Solutions in McKinny

After a traffic stop for driving while intoxicated (DWI), police will ask you to step out of your vehicle. The officer will then observe your mannerisms and movements, asking you to pass field sobriety tests to determine if you may be intoxicated. These tests are often based on the officer’s subjective opinions, and can therefore be flawed. 

NO Law Firm can challenge the results of a field sobriety test so they cannot be used against you in court. To learn more, schedule a free consultation today. Call (469) 575-6656.

Common Field Sobriety Tests

There are three standardized field sobriety tests recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). These include:

  • One leg stand (OLS): The driver maintains their balance when raising a leg six inches from the ground. This is used to check balance and coordination.
  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN): The driver follows a light or object back and forth with only their eyes. The presence of alcohol normally causes an involuntary jerky movement as the eyes track the light.
  • Walk and turn (WAT): The driver must walk heel to toe for a certain number of steps, then turn and repeat the walk. The police officer will then evaluate their ability to not only follow instructions, but their coordination and balance as well.

The NHTSA estimates that the HGN test is the most accurate, but only in about 88% of subjects. OLS and WAT have an 83% accuracy and a 79% accuracy, respectively, meaning a certain percentage of people will always receive false results that can still be used against them later. Even when properly administered, these tests are subject to the officer’s perception and can be skewed by a number of physical or environmental factors. Those with poor balance or inner ear conditions, poor vision, heavier or older participants, or those who are nervous or exhausted can all perform poorly on field sobriety tests, even when they are sober. 

Challenging Field Sobriety Test in Texas

Building your DWI defense strategy requires an in-depth knowledge of the facts of your case. Not only can we argue that an officer lacked sufficient and reasonable suspicion to pull you over, making the evidence obtained as a result of the unlawful stop inadmissible, but we can also call into question the accuracy of any field sobriety tests. Whether the officer didn’t follow proper procedures or the defendant has a preexisting medical condition that could have skewed the results, there are a number of issues that can come in to play when challenging field sobriety tests. 

Other issues that may cause a negative test include: 

  • Slippery, wet, or icy roadside conditions
  • Darkness and low light
  • Unclear instruction from the administering officer
  • Preexisting medical conditions or injuries
  • Unmaintained or improperly calibrated equipment or breathalyzers

NO Law Firm can challenge the many variables of a field sobriety test in order to get their results thrown out in court. We know how important it is that only the unbiased facts of your case are presented and we want to help you receive a fair trial, if it comes to that. 

Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation. We serve clients in McKinney and the suburbs of North Dallas, including Anna, Melissa, Prosper, Frisco, Plano, and Wylie.

DWI Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Are the Drunk Driving Laws in Texas?

    In Texas, laws for drunken driving are based upon your BAC (blood alcohol concentration), that is above the legal limit, while operating a vehicle. The enforced legal limits are below:

    • Under the age of 21, a BAC of .02 or more
    • Drivers of all ages, a BAC of .08 or more
    • Any commercial vehicle drivers, a BAC of .04 or more

    Anytime you exceed this limit, you run the risk of getting convicted for a DWI.

  • If This Is My First DWI, Will I Receive Jail Time?
    If this is your first alcohol related offense, then you will most likely avoid any jail time. However, this depends on the details of your case.
  • Will I Lose My License if I am Charged with a DWI?

    A DWI offense in Texas can lead to a suspension of your license for a period of 90 days up to 2 years. The length of suspension is determined based on a few different factors.

    • The driver’s age 
    • Blood alcohol level
    • Circumstances of the offense
    • Prior convictions.
  • What Are the Penalties for DWI in Texas?

    In Texas, the state has a wide range of charges for a drunk driving charge.

    • A fine of up to $10,000
    • License suspension for 90 days to two years
    • Installation of an interlock ignition device
    • Mandatory drug and alcohol treatment
    • Seventy-two hours to 10 years in jail

    The severity of your charges can range based on if you have prior DWI convictions. If you do, that would likely lead to more serious charges.

  • Can My DWI Case Get Dismissed?
    In some cases, you can get a DWI dismissed or reduced charges. This depends heavily on the factors of the case. It is always in your best interest to hire a skilled attorney to assist you through your legal troubles.