They’re Not Field Sobriety Tests. They’re Drunk Tests.
There are only two field sobriety tests admissible into evidence in Pennsylvania: certain Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) and the portable breath test (PBT) and this is only if we assume the law enforcement officer administered them correctly.
The Law Offices of Patrick F. Lauer, Jr. LLC, has had significant success in challenging field sobriety tests as grounds for a DUI/DWI arrest or the basis to give our client a roadside breath test. If we are able to have this evidence thrown out of court, the resulting charges may be dismissed entirely. If not, it still gives us fodder for negotiating or fighting DUI charges at trial.
Are You Interested In Protecting Your Rights? Contact seasoned DUI attorney Patrick F. Lauer Jr. by calling to schedule a free initial consultation today. Answers to some frequently asked questions about DUI arrests can be found here.
You Can, And Should, Challenge Your Field Sobriety Tests
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recognizes three SFSTs as reliable indicators of intoxication: the walk and turn, the one-legged stand and the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN).
Independent studies have shown that 46 percent of sober people “fail” these recognized tests. In other words, they are highly unreliable and more likely to result in your arrest than to convince the officer to let you go.
The HGN, or “Pen test,” is not admissible in Pennsylvania. Our courts also do not recognize nonstandardized tests such as reciting the alphabet backward, hopping on one foot or touching your finger to your nose with your eyes closed.
So Why Do Cops Give These Tests?
To get you to incriminate yourself. If the officer decides you performed poorly, he can then ask you to take a portable breath test (PBT). If you agree and blow a BAC of .08 or more, you have provided reasonable suspicion to be taken into custody. Once arrested, you are required by law to give an official blood, breath or urine sample, under penalty of a one-year license suspension if you refuse.
If you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, we suggest you politely refuse to perform field sobriety tests or blow into the portable Breathalyzer. You are not required by law to submit to either test, and it will not hurt you to refuse.
In court, Mr. Lauer has forced arresting officers to admit that they don’t know the degree of accuracy of the FST they administered. If police relied on your poor performance as evidence of intoxication, we argue that all evidence obtained from that point on is “fruit of the poisonous tree,” and should not be used as evidence.
Don’t Get Convicted For DUI With An Unreliable Test. Free Case Evaluation.
Being pulled over might affect your week. Getting convicted for DUI will affect your life. We will fight charges based on unreliable testing. Call our Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, office day or night at or contact us by email. Our lawyer will review your case for free.