Field sobriety tests (FSTs) are used in Amarillo DWI cases to assist law enforcement officers in determining if a driver is driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs. Officers often administer these tests on the side of the road right at the scene of a traffic stop. Failing a field sobriety test could result in several outcomes, including the possibility of being taken into custody.
If you were arrested after failing a field sobriety test in Amarillo, an experienced DWI attorney could provide legal assistance. They could review the details of your case and work on ways to challenge the administration or results of your FSTs.
The Standardized Battery of Field Sobriety Tests
The standardized field sobriety test consists of three tasks in Amarillo and across the nation. These tests include:
- Walk and Turn — Individual is asked to walk heel to toe for several steps in a straight line and then turn around and walk back in the same manner.
- One-Legged Stand — Individual is instructed to count out loud while standing on one leg with the other leg raised and extended with the foot pointing forward.
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus — Using their eyes, an individual is instructed to follow a pen, flashlight, or another item as a law enforcement officer moves the object in a horizontal line.
Failing to pass even one of these tests could potentially result in further action by law enforcement. An Amarillo attorney could answer questions about the field sobriety test procedures, what officers look for, and the potential ramifications for failing.
Outcomes of Failing a Field Sobriety Test in Amarillo
When an officer suspects someone may be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they use field sobriety tests to provide probable cause to arrest the individual for DWI. Failing a field sobriety test could result in law enforcement officers requesting a breath test or a blood test to assess the individual’s BAC. Additionally, Amarillo police could take a person into custody after failing these tests.
Field Sobriety Tests are Optional in Amarillo
Implied consent laws in the state of Texas do not apply to field sobriety tests, unlike breath or blood analysis. Individuals have the right to refuse to submit to a field sobriety test for any reason. While there could be consequences for refusal, it is important to remember that field sobriety tests are optional.
Even sober individuals may fail a field sobriety test for any number of reasons. For example, someone with impaired mobility may not be able to successfully complete the one-legged-stand or walk-and-turn test. Certain medications or neurological conditions could likewise cause a sober individual to fail the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. When building a defense against field sobriety test results, an Amarillo attorney could explore these issues in depth.
Ask an Amarillo Attorney about Your DWI Field Sobriety Tests
The results of field sobriety tests in Amarillo DWI cases may not be completely reliable. With a careful analysis of the video footage, a lawyer may be able to argue that the test results did not indicate failure or imply that an individual was intoxicated.
You do not have to accept the outcome of a field sobriety test that was not in your favor. Contact an attorney today to discuss your situation and your options for defense.