Get Your FREE Copy of the Book by Stephen Hamilton Exposing the Truth
Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
Midland DWI field sobriety tests are a series of divided attention tests supposedly designed to see if a person can safely operate a motor vehicle, according to the state. There are no correlation studies that say a person who cannot perfectly balance on one leg or has an eye twitch has lost the normal mental or physical capabilities.
Field sobriety tests are not highly thought of in the scientific community. A DUI lawyer does not think highly of these tests either. For more information about Midland DWI field sobriety tests, make sure you contact an experienced lawyer today.
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test
The HGN or horizontal gaze nystagmus test is a test law enforcement says is designed to determine if a person has lost the normal use of mental or physical faculties or if a person is at or above 0.08. In this test, the individual moves a finger or another object at various angles and sees if the eye twitches and if it is at a certain speed or a certain amount of twitch back and forth. Somehow this is supposed to indicate to the police offer that the person has signs of intoxication and reason for a DUI.
Walk and Turn Screening
The walk and turn test is another divided attention test. In this screening, the officer has the individual stand with their left foot on the line and their right foot in front of it, hands down by their side, and give them a series of instructions. These instructions include having the person take nine heel-to-toe steps down, count out loud, and look at their toes. When the individual gets to the end of the ninth test, they have to make a certain series of three turns and then make a turn and then to come back in nine heel-to-toe steps.
A one-legged stand test is similar. It is when a person stands with their leg and feet together, with arms down by their side. When the officer tells them to, they raise one foot approximately six inches, look down, and count for about 30 seconds to see if they can balance on one foot.
Validity of the Tests at Trial
The Midland DWI field sobriety tests are standardized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) so they lose their validity if they are not done in compliance with the officer’s training. And when it comes to trial, it depends on what the jury thinks the weight of these tests is.
If there is a video showing someone stumbling, unable to stand up, slurring speech, or falling off the line, juries are going to look at it and may say those are signs of someone intoxicated. It is completely different than a one-legged stand test and the officer is asking somebody to put their foot up and there may be a little leg swaying in the process. The individual may have swayed because of a medical issue, ear balance, or nervousness.
Refusing to Perform Field Sobriety Tests
A person can and should refuse to do any field sobriety tests in a Midland DUI or DWI. You are not required to do the tests by law.
If you officer tries to tell you otherwise, contact an attorney who can make sure your rights are protected concerning Midland DWI field sobriety tests. A lawyer can give you the proper advice in these types of situations so that you do not have to face unnecessary charges.