Field Sobriety Tests

Delaware Field Sobriety Tests Attorneys

Several decades ago The National Highway Safety Administration (NHSTA) developed the current Field Sobriety Test system. They were developed as a means and method of potentially and theoretically determining how intoxicated someone is. The Field Sobriety Tests are conducted by police at the time someone is pulled over and suspected of DUI. Police officers are allegedly trained to look for various ‘clues’ or scoring factors that can theoretically establish whether or not someone is intoxicated.

If you have been pulled over and arrested for DUI in New Castle County, Kent County or Sussex County Delaware you should absolutely speak with a Delaware DUI Defense Attorney. Call The Law Office of Brian J. Chapman at 302-455-0505.

Field Sobriety Tests Currently Used In Delaware

In Delaware there are 3 Field Sobriety Tests (FST) used to ascertain how buzzed, drunk or intoxicated someone allegedly is. Theses tests are:

1. Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test (HGN Test)

The eyeball jerks involuntary¬† as it naturally rotates in its socket. This physiological function is called the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus. A person who is not under the influence of drugs or alcohol has the ability to follow a moving object smoothly. If a person is sober the eyeball will not repeatedly stop and start. When someone is intoxicated due to alcohol consumption nystagmus is much more pronounced and exaggerated. This results in a jerking motion as the eyes rotate. When conducting the test the police officer has the person follow an object with their eyes, normally a pen or flashlight. There are 3 criteria the officer is trained to look for in this test. If, once test is completed, you demonstrate 4 or more ‘clues’ then you are allegedly have a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of at least .10 which is above the legal limit.

2. Walk And Turn Test

The walk and turn test involves the suspect taking 9 heel to toe steps in a straight line. At the end of the 9th step you are required to turn on one foot and return by taking 9 more heel to toe steps. There are 8 possible ‘clues’ regarding ones level of intoxication. If you demonstrate 2 or more you are allegedly intoxicated and could be arrested for DUI in Delaware.

3. One Leg Stand Test

The one leg stand test requires you to stand with one foot at least 6 inches off the ground and count by thousands i.e. one one thousand, two one thousand, etc. This continues until you are instructed to put down your foot. 30 seconds is the standard amount of time you are required to stand on one foot. There are 4 commonly accepted intoxication indicators in this test: swaying to maintain balance, using arms to balance, hopping to maintain balance and putting your foot down before being told to do so.

Field Sobriety Test Flaws And Delaware DUI Defense

These three tests can potentially indicate that you are intoxicated. They are not always accurate however and have several possible flaws. There are many reasons why a person cannot pass the field sobriety tests that have nothing to do with being intoxicated. These reason could have to do with possible being physically disabled, lacking certain motor skills, taking prescribed medication and being older.

Also, if your DUI case goes to trial the FST results become even more important. Many times the police officers did not properly administer the FST’s and that can be uncovered in court. They may have used incorrect or inappropriate scoring criteria or were improperly trained regarding ho to administer the tests. Having a skilled Delaware DUI Attorney on your side will address these possible FST flaws and help you get the best possible outcome regarding your DUI case.

Contact a Skilled Delaware DUI Defense Attorney

Retaining a Delaware DUI Lawyer makes sense regarding your DUI case. Mr. Chapman will make sure your rights are protected throughout the entire legal process. Call Delaware DUI Defense Attorney Brian J. Chapman at 302-455-0505. You can also email a Delaware Driving Under The Influence Lawyer. With many serving those accused of drunk driving throughout Delaware he will tenaciously defend your rights while attempting to keep the negative consequences of your pending drunk driving charges to a minimum. Mr. Chapman is a former prosecutor and knows what the prosecution will look for in court. Let him put his vast experience to work for you.

The Law Office of Brian J. Chapman proudly serves those accused of DUI throughout Kent County, Delaware and Sussex County Delaware. Within these counties he serves all cities, towns & suburbs in including, but no limited to, Wilmington, Claymont, Newark, Stanton, Newport, Pike Creek, Hockessin, Bear, Glasgow, Middletown, Odessa, Townsend, Smyrna, Dover, Milford, Harrington, Kenton, Little Creek, Seaford, Georgetown, Millsboro, Milton, Lewes, Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach, Bethany Beach, Fenwick Island, Ocean View, Laurel, Delmar and Dagsboro.