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Field Sobriety Tests in Texas

DWI Attorney in Fort Worth

You should be aware that cooperating with the requests of an arresting police officer who has pulled you over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI) does not necessarily mean the officer will let you go or "go easy" on you. If the officer asks you to agree to a field sobriety test, this probably means that he or she is already assuming you are guilty of drunk driving. These tests are designed for failure.

The fact of the matter is that it is your right to refuse to submit to a field sobriety test - and, in many cases, it is also in your best interest to do so. The wisest and safest course of action is to simply refuse to take the test or to answer any questions without an attorney present. Do so respectfully and courteously, but firmly, and then retain a competent Fort Worth criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Insider Perspective from a Former Police Lieutenant

Attorney David Sloane of the Law Offices of David Sloane is a former police lieutenant with two decades of experience in the legal industry. He has a level of insider knowledge and a "behind the scenes" perspective that very few attorneys can offer. Mr. Sloane has been trained in how to operate the breath-testing equipment used by police officers throughout the state of Texas, known as the Intoxilyzer 5000, and he has even instructed police recruits in the proper administration of field sobriety tests.

Because of his experience, he is aware that it is extremely difficult to "pass" field sobriety tests - even for a completely sober individual! That is because these tests are highly subjective. Because the arresting police officer is actively looking for symptoms of intoxication, he or she is likely to find symptoms regardless of your blood alcohol content.

Texas Field Sobriety Tests

The three field sobriety tests commonly used by Texas police officers are as follows:

  • Nystagmus Gaze Test - In the nystagmus gaze test, the driver is asked to "follow" with his or her eyes the movement of an officer's finger, pen, or another object. The officer will look for "jerking" movements of the eyes, which is a symptom of drinking. The nystagmus gaze test is highly subjective and all but impossible to "pass," as most individuals will experience nystagmus if they have been drinking at all or if their eyes are fatigued from performing the test for too long.
  • Walk-and-Turn Test - In this test, the driver will be asked to take nine heel-to-toe steps in a straight line with their hands at their sides. They will then be asked to take small steps in order to turn around and take another nine heel-to-toe steps back to the officer. The officer will watch for signs of intoxication from the moment he or she asks the driver to stand and place their arms down. Any swaying or unsteadiness or failure to count aloud will be considered a sign of intoxication. Many people who have not been drinking at all find this test difficult to "pass" perfectly the first time.
  • One-Leg-Stand Test - In the one-leg-stand test, the officer will ask the driver to lift one foot above the ground and let it hover for a 30-second period of time while looking at their feet and counting aloud. Any swaying or signs of imbalance will be considered a sign of intoxication, and many sober testers find that the test is not easy or is even impossible to pass - particularly if he or she has a health condition, is overweight, has an injury, or is tired.

Contact Attorney Sloane for a Free Consultation in Tarrant County, TX

Clearly, "passing" a field sobriety test is a subjective concept. Rather than subject yourself to the embarrassment and possible incrimination associated with a field sobriety test, it is in your best interest to politely refuse and then hire a good Fort Worth DWI attorney who can protect you from misleading or trumped-up charges.

With your freedom, your license, and your reputation at state, there is no reason to hesitate. Learn more about how Mr. Sloane is ready to put his experience to work in the defense of your rights and freedom in a free case evaluation that you can schedule right now just by speaking to a member of the firm's Fort Worth office staff.

For the tough, effective, and compassionate advocacy you need and deserve, call the Law Offices of David Sloane today at (817) 349-7118!

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