Understanding Field Sobriety Tests In DUI Cases

A number of problems arise when police officers conduct field sobriety tests. Often law enforcement officers fail to follow the field sobriety guidelines put in place by the state of Tennessee. In other instances, arresting officers overstep their bounds or fail to gain the proper consent for field sobriety tests to have taken place.

Backed by 23 years of DUI defense and a wide range of criminal law representation, attorney James M. Gulley understands what is and is not acceptable conduct with regard to arresting officers. He knows how to question the tactics of officers in court and how to keep unreliable or improper field sobriety results from becoming admissible at trial.

What Is A Field Sobriety Test?

Law enforcement officers often conduct tests on the roadside in an effort to determine whether there was any alcohol or drug impairment while you were driving. Sometimes officers request individuals arrested for DUI to stand on one leg during a field sobriety test. Often, the police officer asks the person taking the test to follow an object such as a pen with his eyes. Police may ask the person arrested to walk a straight line while all the time police officers observe them. These are just some of a number of different tests individuals go through when taking a field sobriety test — all supposedly designed to indicate whether there is any impairment due to consumption of alcohol or drugs.

While designed to keep drunk drivers off the road, these tests can be extremely subjective. The individual who determines whether you pass or fail such a test is the arresting police officer. It's not always clear why one person passes a field sobriety test while another fails.

James Gulley makes certain that field sobriety tests were performed properly before allowing evidence of such tests in court. He analyzes the results to see if there is an objective basis for the officer's conclusion.

Lawyer Protecting Your Rights

Sometimes officers use field sobriety tests for a variety of reasons. For example, while pulling a driver over and shining a light in the driver's eyes, another officer may be looking the vehicle over for incriminating evidence. Officers may use the results of the test as an excuse to search the entire vehicle and search and seizure problems then arise.

The Gulley Law Firm makes certain your rights guaranteed under the Tennessee and United States Constitution receives protection. Contact our Memphis office by calling 901-318-3712, or by calling toll free at 800-655-9649.