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Does Failing a Field Sobriety Test Equal Being Guilty of DUI?
Field sobriety tests are examinations the police and state troopers use to determine if a driver is likely to be intoxicated. Usually, there is a trio of tests given when a suspected drunk driver is asked to perform field sobriety tests. They are the one-legged stand, the nine step walk and turn, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus, which is also called an HGN test.
These tests have been approved by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, and have been standardized so that everyone who takes them should respond one way or another. This is supposed to make it easier for cops to identify drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Failure to pass a field sobriety test does not mean you are drunk. The tests are not easy to pass, even when a driver has not been drinking at all, and is in a controlled environment, inside a building on a flat surface. Most of the time, a field sobriety test is given outdoors in whatever weather happens to be out there. It is often dark, cold, and windy, snowy, or rainy. The surface of a roadway, which is generally where a field sobriety test is given, is rarely nice and flat. Instead, it has bumps and dips from the wear of tires and upheavals due to heat and cold. Judges and prosecutors know that these tests are difficult to perform in perfect conditions. Cops are asking people to walk nine steps in a straight line, then back nine more and hold their foot in the air for thirty seconds, in bad weather. Just because you didn’t pass those tests does not mean you were drunk, especially if there is no evidence from the officer’s dash cam video.
In addition, certain medical conditions make the tests difficult or impossible to perform. Not everyone is able to walk a straight line, even when sober, and not everyone has the ability to balance themselves on one leg for even a couple seconds.
If you have been charged with DUI, the first thing you need to do is employ a Pittsburgh DUI attorney with the right training and background. Explain to him what happened, in detail, giving him all the circumstances of your arrest. He will interpret your charges, describe what you face as you move through the justice system, and lay out what your alternatives are.
Convictions for Driving Under the Influence will cause all manner of chaos for you and your family. Enlisting the aid an accomplished attorney as soon as you are arrested is the best thing you can do for yourself and your loved ones. Get the legal help you deserve and call Logue Law Group for a free consultation. The Pittsburgh DUI attorneys at Logue Law Group are single-minded about helping clients get to the end of their journey with a great result. They are persevering and seasoned, and willing to take on prosecutors to win your freedom.
Keep in mind that your Pittsburgh DUI attorney will need to hear all the details. Don’t dither about trusting him. Go ahead and confide in him, so he has everything he needs to represent you well. He will make sure to explain your charges to you in a way you can understand, and describe your defense choices. He will remain by your side as you maneuver through the criminal justice system.
If you or a loved one has been charged with Driving Under the Influence in or around the city of Pittsburgh, you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney. The Logue Criminal Defense team serves Pittsburgh, PA, and the surrounding areas, including West Virginia and Ohio. To get in touch and schedule a free initial consultation with a skillful Pittsburgh Criminal Defense lawyer from Logue Law Group, call us today at 844.PITT.DUI or 844.PITT.DUI. Or, you can contact us online.
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