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Challenging DUI Evidence: Field Sobriety Tests


Any time an individual consumes an alcoholic beverage, takes any prescription medication or over-the-counter drug, or uses a controlled substance and gets behind the wheel of his or her vehicle, he or she risks the danger of being arrested and charged for intoxicated driving. You can expect law enforcement and the Commonwealth of Virginia to take any suspected DUI charges extremely seriously.

Field Sobriety Tests

Should you be pulled over for a suspected DUI, one of the first things the officer will do after asking you whether or not you have been drinking, is administer field sobriety tests. There are a series of three standardized field sobriety tests which officers across the nation will commonly perform once they have pulled over a DUI suspect.

The three standardized tests are:

  • The one leg stand test
  • The walk and turn test
  • The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test

There are, however, various non-standardized tests which officers can also employ in an effort to determine whether or not a person is intoxicated.

Some of the non-standardized tests include:

  • Reciting a portion of the alphabet
  • Counting backwards
  • Standing with your feet together and tilting your head backwards
  • Counting the number of fingers the officer has raised
  • And more

These tests are highly subjective and there are many reasons why a person could fail beyond being intoxicated. If the officer feels your actions indicate a state of intoxication, you will be placed under arrest. We understand failing a field sobriety test, or even a breathalyzer test, may frighten you.

Rest assured that when you contact JRLaw, PLC we will do everything possible to establish that “positive” test results could be invalid. Our lead attorney was a police officer, who served the local community for more than 15 years. Now, as a Virginia Beach criminal defense attorney, he is able to use that experience, along with his knowledge of criminal law and DUI law to help protect the rights of the criminally accused.

How JRLaw, PLC Can Help

When you come to JRLaw, PLC for help, we will be able to investigate how the officer administered the tests, whether or not he or she was qualified to do so, if the breathalyzer used was properly calibrated, whether the officer took into consideration your physical or mental condition at the time, and many other factors that could impact your case. As we are well aware of the consequences that a DUI can have on your future, we are committed to challenging the validity of evidence in court when possible, and we will work diligently to establish that the tests are unreliable, and thus unable to be submitted as evidence pertaining to your DUI case.

A failed field sobriety test is not an automatic guarantee of a conviction. One warning: it is very important if you have been placed under arrest for DUI, that you exercise your right to remain silent and have an attorney present during questioning. If you have failed a field sobriety test or breathalyzer test, and have been charged with DUI, you need to contact JR Law, PLC right awayand speak to an experienced Virginia Beach criminal defense lawyer about your case.

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