Examples of Georgia Field Sobriety Tests and Their Weaknesses

Posted by Richard Lawson | Aug 06, 2018 | 0 Comments

Yesterday I wrote about breath and blood tests in Georgia DUI Cases and the Georgia DUI Defenses that can apply. There are other tests involved in a DUI investigation in Georgia including Georgia Field Sobriety Tests

As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I will outline the standard field sobriety tests used in Georgia DUI investigations as well as their weaknesses in today's post.

Georgia Field Sobriety Tests

The Eye Test:  The Eye Test consists of the officer conducting a series of measurements for the accused driver to follow with his or her eyes. The driver is asked to look at a certain stimulus while the officer attempts to determine the presence of a “nystagmus” or jerking movements made by the eyeball. 

Weakness: This test may be irrelevant because some people have naturally occurring nystagmus along with different head and eye conditions.

The Walk and Turn Test: The Walk and Turn Test consists of nine steps, heel to toe, along a straight line, a 180 degree turn, and nine steps back again. Officers look for the accused to begin walking before told or walking in normal stride instead of making heel to toe steps.

Weakness: This test may be irrelevant for people who are over-weight, injured, or elderly.

The One Leg Stand: The One Leg Stand consists of the accused standing on only one foot for 30 seconds with arms by his or her sides. Officers have everyone submit to this testing, even knowing some people have no chance to pass the tests.  

Weakness: Again, this test may be irrelevant for people with certain physical conditions.

Practice Note

As a Georgia DUI Attorney, I know that these tests are challenging for individuals even under the most ideal circumstances. These tests are not actually good indicators of whether or not someone is under the influence.

With over 50 years of combined experience, our firm is well-practiced and successful in applying the DUI Defenses in Georgia. 

The reality is that officers use many different methods when conducting these tests. There are even cases where officers will use tests that are not standardized (like reciting the alphabet or counting to a specific number). 

These tests must be administered in the trained and prescribed methods in order to make the test results valid. 

If you ora loved one has been arrested for DUI in Georgia, contact us today.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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