Field Sobriety Tests

As soon as you are pulled over for drunk driving, your criminal defense action begins. Police usually administer a series of field sobriety tests after pulling over a driver to determine if he or she has been driving while intoxicated. These tests are highly subjective and unreliable, and our DUI lawyers are fully aware of the problems that field sobriety tests can cause in DUI cases. As soon as you are investigated for drunk driving or charged with a DUI in Michigan, contact Grabel & Associates to fight against wrongful conviction.

DUI Attorney Challenging Field Sobriety Testing in MI

Our statewide DUI defense attorneys have the experience necessary to achieve unrivaled results in Michigan drunk driving cases. If you are wrongfully accused of driving with an illegal blood alcohol content (BAC) of over 0.08, our lawyers will aggressively defend you and fight to have your charges dismissed or reduced. We know how volatile field sobriety test results are, and will carefully scrutinize the assumptions made by police and prosecutors trying to put you behind bars. Our lawyers work to vigorously challenge field sobriety tests and probable cause for arrest in Michigan OWI and OUIL cases, and can guide you to the best possible result in pre-file, trial, or post-conviction stages of your criminal case.

Reliable Field Sobriety Tests in Michigan

The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has established which field sobriety tests are considered reliable, and these standard field tests are utilized by highway patrol and police officers throughout the country. Michigan police and prosecutors in DUI cases utilize three particular tests, and improper administration of these tests or overlooked factors could lead to wrongful arrest and conviction.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test in MI

This field test involves checking the eyes of a DUI suspect by looking for an involuntary twitching of the eye, known as Nystagmus. If a person is intoxicated, this eye twitch should be somewhat accentuated and noticeable. With your feet together and arms down, you will be asked to follow the officer’s flashlight, finger, or another object with your eyes. The officer will observe your pupil size, determine if your eyes are tracking together, and look for any involuntary jerking of the eyes. Police will also be observing the onset of an involuntary twitch. If Nystagmus distinctly occurs within 45 degrees of the center of the eye, the officer will also have reason to suspect you may be intoxicated. If there are more than 4 indicators of intoxication between the two eyes throughout this examination, it is likely that the suspect has a blood alcohol content (BAC) above the legal limit. This test is estimated to be accurate in 77% of cases, however there are many mistakes that can be made which produce faulty results. If the officer does not follow the proper procedures or fails to thoroughly test both eyes, or if he or she moves the object too quickly in front of a suspect’s eyes, the results will be affected. Additionally, if the suspect is wearing contact lenses, or taking certain medications, this field sobriety test may not be accurate.

One Leg Stand Test in MI 

A police officer may ask you to stand on one leg in order to determine if you are drunk. You will be instructed to stand with your feet together, then raise one leg and count out loud. The officer will look to see if you are off balance, swaying, using your arms, moving your foot to keep steady, or unable to keep one leg off the ground. The instructions for this field sobriety examination can be confusing, and people with certain injuries or weakness cannot properly balance regardless of their blood alcohol content. Our firm will fight against wrongful DUI conviction based on improper field-testing.

Walk/Turn Test in MI 

The officer may ask you to walk in a straight line with one foot placed directly in front of the other, with the heel of the right foot placed against the toe of the left and vice versa as you progress forward. You will take 9 steps forward, then turn, and take 9 steps back. This test should be demonstrated by the police officer before you are asked to begin. While walking, the officer will ask you to count your steps out loud, keeping your hands by your side. The observing officer will be noting if you can balance, continue walking without stopping, coordinate the touching of your heel to your toe, walk in a straight line, and properly count the correct number of steps. However, if the conditions for this test are not perfect, the instructions are not clearly given, or the suspect is instructed to count to the wrong number by the officer, the results of this test may be misleading.

Our Approach to Challenge Field Sobriety Results in Michigan

These sobriety tests, along with others such as finger to nose coordination testing, alphabet recitation, finger dexterity testing, and alternative balance tests can result in wrongful arrest and conviction in  DUI cases. At Grabel & Associates, our team of attorneys is committed to just and fair results in Michigan OUI, DWI, and OUIL cases, and our aggressive criminal defense will give you an edge over police and prosecutors in your case. Standardized testing is notoriously inaccurate and could cause you to face jail time, fines, driver’s license suspension, a revoked license, and a potential criminal record. We are here to protect your reputation and freedom by standing up for your constitutional rights throughout your criminal fight.

Our lawyers combine for over 100 years of legal experience and our work in thousands of past cases has helped Michigan’s accused stay out of jail. Our statewide attorneys are familiar with the court system and know the judges that you will face, giving us valuable insight into the legal issues that will affect your case and the options available to you. Don’t speak to police any more before calling Scott Grabel and the team at our criminal defense firm.

Contact Scott Grabel - Aggressive Michigan Drunk Driving Lawyer

Call 1-800-342-7896 now for aggressive defense in any of the state’s 83 counties. You can also contact us online and set up a free consultation with drunk driving defense attorney Scott Grabel. Without an attorney, faulty field test results could result in a wrongful conviction; contact us immediately. We are available 24/7 to take your call and begin working on your criminal case.

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