Field Sobriety Tests In Pennsylvania

Field Sobriety TestsThe general purpose of a field sobriety test is to determine whether a police officer has probable cause to arrest a driver for DUI. Standardized field sobriety testing involves observation of a driver's eye movements, balance, ability to concentrate and other factors. Generally, field sobriety tests are done prior to any chemical tests, such as a breath test or blood test.

While studies have shown that standardized field sobriety tests accurately indicate impairment in most cases, the reality is that this kind of testing is not a perfect science. If you have been arrested for DUI after agreeing to a field sobriety test in the York area, contact an experienced DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible. A defense attorney can help you explore your full range of options for minimizing the negative consequences of a DUI arrest.

Challenging Field Sobriety Tests

Standardized field sobriety testing involves observation of three things:

  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus, which is involuntary eye movement that becomes exaggerated as a result of alcohol impairment
  • One-leg stand, which involves a driver standing on one leg for 30 seconds
  • Walk and turn, which involves a driver taking nine heel-to-toe steps in a straight line, turning on one foot, and returning in the same direction

There are also non-standardized field sobriety tests, such as reciting the alphabet backwards, counting backwards and closing one's eyes while touching finger to nose.

With all of these tests, police officers rely on their own judgment as to whether a person seems to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Everyone is different, though, and what seems like impairment may, in some cases, be due to a separate medical condition or other factor.

The important thing is to have an experienced DUI defense lawyer on your side to protect your rights and tell your side of the story.

Contact The Law Office Of Marc J. Semke

Field sobriety tests must be properly conducted. If a police officer fails to follow proper procedure, the evidence may be excluded from court — and the charged dropped.

To schedule a consultation with a dedicated DUI defense attorney, contact The Law Office of Marc J. Semke by calling 717-781-8021. We represent clients in York, Harrisburg, Camp Hill and throughout South Central Pennsylvania.