Rundown of Georgia Field Sobriety Tests

Posted by Richard Lawson | Apr 15, 2018 | 0 Comments

I am writing today's post because as a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I spend a lot of time focusing my writing on breath and blood tests used in DUI cases. But in the majority of DUI arrests, officers administer Field Sobriety Tests in Georgia as well. 

Field Sobriety Tests are used to show a correlation between measuring alcohol intoxication and the ability to drive. I have completed the training behind the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Instructor Course, so I am very familiar with the tests used by officers here in Georgia. This is just one of the reasons I always recommend going with a Georgia DUI Attorney over a general practitioner. 

Here's a generalized rundown of the field sobriety tests.

The Eye Test (Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus)

This test consists of the officer conducting a series of measurements. 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. 

Some people have naturally occurring nystagmus along with certain head and eye conditions which can make this test irrelevant.

The Walk and Turn Test

This 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.

Some people who are over-weight, injured, or elderly may make this test irrelevant.

The One Leg Stand 

This test 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.  

Some people who are over-weight, injured, or elderly may make this test irrelevant.

The number one thing to be aware of is this: these tests are challenging for people under the best of circumstances. They're not the best indicator of whether or not someone is actually under the influence. Our firm is talented in dissecting the different methods most commonly used by officers when conducting these tests. Most of the time, these tests are administered in a manner opposed to the trained and prescribed methods and can make the test results completely invalid. 

Sometimes officers even utilize tests that are not standardized tests. These tests include saying the alphabet backward and forward or counting to certain number. These tests have not been validated and are inconclusive in proving whether or not a driver is actually DUI. 

If you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI in Georgia, contact our offices today. Do not face Georgia DUI Penalties without the help of a Georgia DUI Lawyer. We will apply our expertise and our experience to your case. Let us help you protect your rights and your freedom. Contact us today.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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