Field Sobriety Tests
STANDARDIZED FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS
Often times, the first step in a North Carolina DWI encounter is that once you are pulled over, if the officer still feels you may be intoxicated, he or she will ask you to exit the vehicle. Once out of the vehicle, the officer will likely ask you to perform several Roadside Sobriety Tests, also referred to as the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. A criminal defense attorney, in reviewing your case, should be able to determine whether or not you should have been asked to exit the vehicle in the first place.
The three common roadside sobriety tests are the One-Legged Stand, the Walk-and-Turn, and the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus. In each of these tests, there are certain indicators the officer is looking for to determine whether you are impaired enough, that you are in violation of North Carolina DWI laws. These tests are used for the purpose determining whether or not the police officer has probable cause to arrest you for DWI. Testimony regarding the outcome of these tests may also be used as evidence of DWI in the trial phase. One of the ways a criminal defense lawyer can defend you against your DWI charges is to challenge these field sobriety tests. Your criminal defense lawyer can also make an argument with regard to the reliability and admissibility of any evidence against you. If you are pulled over and charge with DWI, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately.