DWI Field Sobriety Tests

What are Field Sobriety Tests and Why Do They Matter?

 

If you have been arrested for DWI or DUI in Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield or the surrounding cities in Tarrant County, it is likely that you were asked by your arresting officer to perform field sobriety tests so that the officer could form an opinion as to whether or not you were intoxicated. Your performance on DWI field sobriety tests and how the police officer administered the field sobriety tests are important to your DWI case because the field sobriety test results play an important role in determining whether there was sufficient evidence to establish probable cause to arrest for suspicion of DWI.

 

Although there are numerous field sobriety tests that officers may ask you to perform at the scene, there are only three field sobriety tests that have been recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has developed a training program that caters to local police agencies in training police officers on how to administer the three recognized field sobriety tests in a standardized manner so that the results will be consistent and reliable.

 

The field sobriety tests that have been recognized by NHTSA and are generally relied upon by police officers in Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield and in the surrounding cities of Tarrant County are as follows:

  • The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) Test
  • The Walk and Turn Test
  • The One Leg Stand Test

 

Each DWI officer or police officer that handles a DWI stop or arrest in Tarrant County, has pre-printed forms with all of the “clues” that the officer is looking for already printed on their page. As you perform each test, the officer checks off the clues that he believes that he observed and makes a determination of whether you “passed” or “failed” the field sobriety tests.

 

What If I Refused to Take the Field Sobriety Tests?

 

If you have been arrested for a DWI or DUI in Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield or in the surrounding cities of Tarrant County, it is important for you to understand that you cannot be forced or required to submit to Field Sobriety Testing. However, if the police officer has probable cause to arrest you for DWI (slurred speech, red or bloodshot and watery eyes, etc) and requests that you cooperate and you refuse to submit to the field sobriety testing, you will be arrested and charged with a DWI.

 

Call The Hampton Law Firm now to schedule a free consultation and determine if your field sobriety testing was done in accordance with the NHTSA guidelines.

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