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Field Sobriety Tests

Many people are familiar with the sight of a police officer administering sobriety tests to a driver on the side of the road. These tests and others make up the Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) that is used by police departments throughout the country. The goal of these tests is to determine if a driver should be placed under arrest for suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

Types of DWI Field Tests

There are three main tests that comprise the SFST. Each test allows the officer to observe the behavior of the driver to check for signs of impairment. These tests were developed and put into use in the 1970’s by the National Highway Safety Administration to help police officers perform their duties more effectively.

These tests have been criticized for being difficult to perform even by sober drivers. For example, a driver with a physical disability may have trouble standing on one leg even if they have not been drinking. As a result, these tests are often used to determine if the officer should administer a breath or blood test to a driver suspected of impairment.

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Case Results
  • DWI - Harris County
    Young man seen leaving nightclub by a police officer. Client takes and fails field sobriety tests and breathalyzer test.
    Not guilty
  • Possession of Marijuana- Harris County
    Client set for trial on two possession of marijuana cases. Client admits to owning all marijuana in the vehicle on video. Motion to suppress granted.
    Cases dismissed
  • DWI - Harris County
    Client found passed out behind the wheel of a car by police officer after crashing into a light post.
    Case dismissed
  • Solicitation of Prostitution - Matagorda County
    Prison guard arrested for soliciting an undercover police officer. All was captured on audio recording.
    Jury trial, not guilty
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