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MINNEAPOLIS CRIMINAL & VETERANS DEFENSE
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Minnesota Field Sobriety Tests Lawyer

The Purpose of Field Sobriety Tests

Minnesota police officers and law enforcement throughout the country administer field sobriety tests (FSTs) in order to determine probable cause and arrest individuals suspected of DWI. 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.

These tests are physical, somewhat acrobatic, tests so the police can determine whether you have really been drinking or not. Here is the kicker, even if you’re one of the few people with the coordination to perform these tests correctly, doing so under the spot light with your freedom on the line might not be as easy as you think.

If you are facing charges for a DWI due to failure of a field sobriety test, contact us today!

Types of Field Sobriety Tests

If you are pulled over in Minnesota, there are three types of standardized tests that are used to ensure your sobriety: the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the one-leg stand test, and the walk-and-turn test.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test

In the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, an officer asks the driver to follow a moving object from side to side while observing his/her eye movements. An individual’s head must stay still while the 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.

One-Leg Stand Test

The driver’s balancing ability is tested when an officer asks him or her to stand on one leg. 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.

Walk-and-Turn Test

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.

Additional tests may include reciting the alphabet and walking backwards are some of the additional field tests that an officer might include, but these are rarely used.

Field sobriety tests are allegedly performed in order to evaluate the level of intoxication of the driver. However, because the officer administering them is in charge of the evaluation and determining the results, these tests are objective. It is astounding how often field sobriety tests are wrongly administered and/or wrongly interpreted.

Find out if bad field sobriety tests led to your DWI arrest.

Ready to Protect Your Rights & Future

At Brockton D. Hunter P.A., we are dedicated to helping you obtain favorable results in court. With years of experience, our Minneapolis criminal attorneys possess the extensive knowledge of Minnesota 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 consultation today to speak with our field sobriety test lawyers.

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