DWI Arrests, Field Sobriety Tests, And Gathering DWI Evidence

Evidence collection is the essential function of field sobriety tests.

Beginning in the mid-1970’s, the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration, otherwise known as NHTSA, began the process of developing roadside tests to help police determine if a driver was intoxicated. Until NHTSA developed these tests, individual police officers used whatever test was taught to them by their training officer. This means the test were not standardized in any way. NHTSA produced studies claiming that the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test, the Walk and Turn, and the One Leg Stand, were the most trustworthy roadside tests in the NHTSA studies. Law enforcement agencies began using these tests as standardized field sobriety tests (FST’s). Moreover, NHTSA set the criteria for failing these tests; with regard to the One Leg Stand and the Walk and Turn, a person need only make two mistakes and they are judge to have failed. Accordingly, there are many sober people who may not pass these tests. I live and work in the St. Louis, Missouri area, so I spoke to a St. Louis DWI lawyer who is experienced in St. Louis DWI defense in an attempt to determine if I should submit to these tests. He believed the tests were designed by NHTSA for failure, and said that in many cases, it is better to refuse these tests.

People facing DWI charges must have an attorney with the knowledge to challenge the tests in court.

Many people believe that they must obey any request made of them by a police officer. As this relates to field sobriety tests, this idea is false. In most states, citizens have a right to refuse these tests. If you are charged with a DWI, and have taken these tests, then you should know that an attorney who is a NHTSA trained field sobriety test administrator and a NHTSA trained field sobriety test instructor can offer a vigorous defense for you. In talking with a St. Louis DWI lawyer who is trained as an administrator and an instructor, I learned there are less than 10 of these attorneys in all of Missouri. When you look for an attorney in your state, look for one that is NHTSA trained to administer and instruct these tests.

Hopefully, this article was an aid for you to achieve a better comprehension of field sobriety tests, their role in a DWI prosecution, and their role for the defense to a DWI charge.

If you would like to know more about well trained St. Louis DWI defense or about a skilled St. Louis DWI lawyer, visit www.brenglelawfirm.com. Attorney Brengle has devoted his entire career to defending people accused with crimes.

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