Non-Standard Field Sobriety Tests

DUI lawyers in SacramentoIf the arresting officer in your DUI case used a non-standard field sobriety test, inform one of our DUI lawyers in Sacramento immediately. The Department of Transportation has identified only three field sobriety tests that give information accurate enough for to justify an arrest. These three tests are the horizontal gaze nystagmus test (which checks for the involuntary twitching of the eye), the walk-and-turn test (which measure the ability to balance while walking), and the one-leg-stand test (which measures the ability to balance while standing on one leg).

If, during your DUI arrest, the officer administers a field sobriety test that is not one of those three, such as asking you to recite the alphabet or say or write certain words, it may be that the officer did not have sufficient evidence to arrest you. There are plenty of other reasons that a sober person might have trouble performing tests like those, ranging from dyslexia to poor enunciation or handwriting.

It is not just a few uninformed officers conducting these unverified tests. The report that the officers must fill out for DUI arrests requests that the officer take a handwriting sample from the suspect. The prosecution typically tries to make this writing sample out to be sloppy, illegible, or simply very difficult to read. The prosecution will then try to argue that the poor handwriting correlates to poor motor skills, attempting to present this as evidence that the defendant was indeed intoxicated.

However, there is scientific evidence that sloppy handwriting proves no such thing. For instance, there is one notable 1986 study that concluded that a person’s handwriting does not reflect his impairment level, nor does it correlate to his blood alcohol concentration. If you submitted a handwriting sample when you were arrested, your attorney can use this study to undermine the prosecution’s strategy and prove that your handwriting reveals nothing about your level of inebriation at the time of your arrest.

Our experienced DUI lawyers in Sacramento know the faulty tactics commonly used by the prosecution; accordingly, he knows how to prepare for them. Make sure you have one on your side; call Param Pabla today for a free initial consultation.

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