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Field Sobriety Testing

Our Southern California DUI Defense Lawyers are very familiar with how field sobriety testing is used by Los Angeles law enforcement officers to determine whether a person is driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

Field sobriety tests, or FSTs, are designed to determine the presence of physical and mental impairment caused by a person being under the influence. Our DUI lawyers know, however, that these tests are not always very accurate nor conclusive. Many clients often feel that they passed the FSTs, despite the officers arresting them. Our DUI firm understands that the purpose of the field sobriety tests is for police officers to make a preliminary determination as to whether he or she will arrest you for drunk driving. If the officers believe that you failed the FSTs, they will arrest you and take you back to the station for chemical tests such as blood or breath testing to determine your actual blood alcohol concentration, and whether or not you are in fact DUI.

The experienced DUI attorneys at have litigated thousands of DUI cases. As former Senior DUI Prosecutors with in-depth knowledge of the legal process surrounding DUI matters, our attorneys are adept at building successful defense strategies that will stand up to even the toughest prosecution. We are certified in administering the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and can recognize when a law enforcement officer does not administer them properly. Also, an officer’s subjective opinion that a person failed the tests is exactly that – an opinion. It is not objective, unbiased scientific evidence showing someone is DUI.

Common Field Sobriety Tests in California

California law enforcement officers may use one or more of a number of field sobriety tests to determine whether you are driving under the influence.

These tests include:

– The one leg stand (stand on one leg for a certain amount of time while counting)
– Walk & turn (walk in a straight line, heel to toe, and turn around)
– HGN, horizontal gaze nystagmus (following an object or light with your eyes, looks for an involuntary jerking of the eye which indicates presence of alcohol)
– Portable breath tests or PAS devices (such as a small, portable breathalyzer)
– Finger to nose (bringing your finger to your nose while your eyes are closed)
– Alphabet test
– Romberg test (standing with feet together, hands to side, with head tilted back and estimating 30 seconds to yourself)

Our DUI lawyers understand that field sobriety tests are often inaccurate. Some people may not be able to pass a test even when entirely sober, due to a physical condition, the condition of the road’s surface, the type of shoes being worn, and/or simply a lack of coordination or balance. Our skilled attorneys will use any instance of fault or inaccuracy in your DUI arrest to defend your rights and help to keep you out of jail.

We specialize in defending DUI cases throughout Southern California courtrooms, and are available for immediate consultations seven days per week.

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