When fighting field sobriety tests, Pittsburgh DUI attorneys like those at Logue Law Group look at the actual tests that are given. There are three main tests: the nine step walk and turn, the one-legged stand, and the HGN (horizontal gaze nystagmus test.) Police officers and state troopers must be properly trained before they can administer these tests.
Nystagmus means jerking of the eyes. So, when an officer is giving a driver that test, he is looking to see if the person is able to follow the pen smoothly with only his eyes, or if his eyes jerk. Sean Logue and his associates will look at that. They will check the police report or the video from the police car, if one is available. The police report is a good source, but a video is better.
On the nine step walk and turn, an attorney will look to see if the driver being tested followed the directions. Did he walk heel to toe? Did he stay on the line, or step off? Did he lose his balance, or simply misstep? Did he turn properly to walk back? Did he only walk the number of steps the officer asked him to, or did he take more or fewer?
When looking at the one-legged stand, a lawyer will check to see if the driver followed instructions. Did he stand solidly on one foot? Did he hop, or put his foot down?
Other factors an attorney will consider include the age and medical condition of the driver. Older people and people who are out of shape often have balance issues that prevent them from successfully completing the tests. Some medical conditions have the same effect. For example, a person with a sinus infection or who is having a bad allergy day may find it difficult to balance because of sinus pressure on the inner ear, or they might be confused about the directions, because sinus problems also lead to headaches that impede comprehension. A person may have a syndrome like Tourette's that causes their eyes and other muscles to twitch, making it seem as though they have failed a test when in fact, they simply cannot successfully complete it.
Video evidence will demonstrate whether the officer who made the DUI stop was able to administer the field sobriety tests properly. If he has made a mistake in doing so, it will show up on the video, which makes it easier for you to get the field sobriety test results thrown out of court.
Field sobriety tests are difficult for even sober people to complete. It is easy for a police officer to make a mistake in thinking someone they have stopped is driving under the influence based on their ability to perform one or more of these tasks.
A well-trained and experienced Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney will know exactly what to look for and what questions to ask to prove that mistakes were made, and get the results of a field sobriety test thrown out.
Have you been stopped for Driving Under the Influence and failed one or more field sobriety tests? Do you wish to fight them? If you do, you need a criminal defense attorney to represent you who has experience in fighting field sobriety tests. The Logue Criminal Defense team has successfully defended many clients in that situation. Logue Law Group serves the Pittsburgh, PA area, as well as West Virginia and Ohio. Call today for a free initial consultation: (412) 612-2210 or (412) 612-2210. Or, you may contact us online.
Don’t wait to call! Failing field sobriety tests means your license will be suspended, and you only have a small window of time in which to appeal it and fight the sobriety test results. If you wait, you could miss that window of opportunity, making it more difficult for an attorney to get you a good outcome. Call now!