Field Sobriety Tests and DUI Charges in Overland Park
Overland Park DUI Defense Attorney
A traffic stop which turns into a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) investigation generally results in the officer having the driver perform various balance and reaction tests to determine if the driver is impaired due to drugs or alcohol. This can seem fair, as long as the officer is well trained in the testing techniques, only uses the approved tests and is very observant. There are a number of factors which could negatively influence the outcome, such as bad weather conditions, poor road surface, and age or physical conditions of the driver, as well as incorrectly administered tests. If you or a loved one has failed a series of such tests and been arrested, it is crucial that you consult an Overland Park criminal defense attorney for assistance without delay. Attorney Robert C. Gigstad has received the same training as law enforcement officers, and is certified to administer the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Standardized Field Sobriety Tests.
Field Sobriety Tests and DUI Defense
The tests approved for use in the Field Sobriety Test (FST) were tested by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) for effectiveness. The only three that were found to have validity are the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test, the walk and turn and the one leg stand. According to the NHTSA studies, even when these are carefully and correctly administered and evaluated there is a large margin of error possible, meaning a sober person can fail these tests for a number of reasons. The officer may have failed to fully explain and demonstrate the test before having you perform the actions. An uneven or sloping surface could interfere with balance and your ability to successfully perform. Obesity, disability, having uncertain balance, or other physical conditions can make it impossible to carry out the movements correctly while maintaining good balance.
An officer's failure to administer the correct tests or administer them correctly can also be grounds for excluding test results from the evidence against you. If the officer had you do a preliminary breath test and arrested you based on the fact that you failed it, this also can be challenged as these devices are not reliable. Fighting the results of an FST is a complex matter which depends upon a full understanding of the technical issues involved. A respected DUI defense lawyer at our firm carefully examines all of the circumstances surrounding a client's arrest in order to identify the flaws in the prosecution's case with the intention of getting the charges dismissed or reduced.
The most damaging evidence against a driver may be the statements he or she makes in answer to an officer's or prosecutor's questions. Be aware of this, and don't answer any questions without first getting advice of legal counsel. Any DUI conviction (or guilty plea) will have serious repercussions on your future. This makes it vital that you take effective action in your own defense. Talk to a criminal defense lawyer who can work closely with you and delivers an aggressive defense by calling Gigstad Law Office, LLC.
If you have failed a Field Sobriety Test, contact an Overland Park DUI defense attorneyto discuss your case.