Ohio police officers and law enforcement throughout the country administer field sobriety tests (FSTs) in order to determine probable cause and arrest individuals suspected of OVI. It is important to understand that these tests are often subjective. While many people believe FSTs are meant to determine if a person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they are actually administered to collect evidence against suspected drunk drivers and prove impairment.
There are three main types of field sobriety tests: the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the one-leg stand test, as well as the walk-and-turn test.
In the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, an individual’s head must stay still while a police officer tells him or her to follow a pen or light, seeing if there is any indication of impairment in the eyes. People with eye problems or attention difficulties may be wrongly accused of being intoxicated.
The one-leg stand involves raising one foot approximately six inches above the ground while the individual counts aloud until the officer tells him or her stop. The person’s hands must stay on his or her sides throughout the counting portion. Those with leg or back issues, or if you are taking the test on an uneven surface, this type of FST can be difficult.
Lastly, the walk-and-turn test entails walking nine steps from heel-to-toe in a straight line. Following the ninth step, the individual must pivot on his or her foot and walk back in the same fashion. Again, those with back and leg injuries, or coordination problems, may find it difficult.
At DiCaudo, Pitchford & Yoder, we are dedicated to helping you obtain favorable results in court. With more than 85 years of combined experience, our Akron criminal defense attorneys possess the extensive knowledge of Ohio drunk driving laws and understand common defenses against field sobriety tests. Do not risk going to jail, paying a fine, or having your license suspended without experienced legal counsel.
Contact us and request a free consultation today.