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Understanding Field Sobriety Testing

Updated: Mar 5, 2023 @ 7:57 pm

Less than 1 minute Reading Time: Minutes

Overview of Field Sobriety Testing Practices

There are many different types of field sobriety tests that Houston police officers give to defendants who are pulled over for a potential DWI in Texas.

These tests are designed to determine if the driver of the motor vehicle is in a suitable condition to operate a motor vehicle and will play a vital role for the prosecution against your DWI lawyer’s defense strategy. Field sobriety tests will test the physical agility and attention of the driver.

None of the tests are mandatory, but do not rely on a police officer to tell you that. In any case if you have not been drinking and you are pulled over for a potential DWI, your lawyer will always recommend that it is a good idea to take the test and pass, instead of refusing and having to argue in court later on.

A refused field sobriety test after being pulled over for a DWI will not look good when it is brought up during your trial.

Standard Tests Versus Non-Standardized Tests

Houston Field Sobriety Tests are categorized as either Standardized Tests, or Non-Standardized tests.

Standardized means these tests have undergone some level of scientific scrutiny and have found to produce consistent results when they are administered exactly as they were designed to be administered.

Non-Standardized tests means that the government tried to standardize the tests, but could not make them scientifically reliable enough to accurately predict whether a suspect is intoxicated or not.

There are only three standardized field sobriety tests – One-Leg Stand, Walk and Turn, and Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus.

All other field sobriety tests are non-standardized – meaning non-scientific – but police are still allowed to testify about these tests in court.

The jury or judge (if there is no jury) is allowed to give credibility to the officer’s testimony, or completely disregard such testimony.

Your Local Houston-Galveston DWI Guru

Attorney Tad Nelson is one of the best qualified DWI lawyers in the Houston-Galveston area for challenging expert testimony during DWI prosecution, and articulating reasonable defense strategies during DWI Trials.

If you need to talk with a Board Certified DWI lawyer in Houston area, contact Tad Nelson & Amber Spurlock; DWI Lawyer-Scientists.

Understanding Field Sobriety Testing

The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates

Houston DWI Lawyer Tad A Nelson is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the TBLS.

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