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After you’ve been pulled over for drunk driving, the police may initiate the field sobriety test. In Michigan, the police must follow a standardized procedure for this roadside test. The Standardized Field Sobriety Test was designed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The police will use the field sobriety test along with the preliminary breath test to determine if you are intoxicated.

Also, it’s important to remember details about the field sobriety test, things the officer said to you, and how the preliminary breath test was administered. It may help to write these details down. Recalling this information later to your OWI lawyer could greatly help your case.

If you were pulled over and performed the field sobriety test in Marquette, contact a DUI lawyer immediately. Berger Law could poke holes in the prosecution’s defense, expose procedural errors during the field sobriety test, and potentially diminish or dismiss charges.

The Eye Test

The eye test, or horizontal gaze nystagmus test, measures the involuntary jerking of the eyes. This becomes more prominent when an individual is intoxicated.

When an officer administers the eye test, you will be asked to follow the officer’s finger or other small object with only your eyes. The officer will be watching your eyes closely to see if your eyes exhibit any unusual, erratic jerking behavior. If so, you may be placed under arrest. Keep in mind, there has been no scientific evidence to show that THC use causes horizontal gaze nystagmus, but that does not stop officers from performing the test when they suspect THC intoxication. It is very important you speak with an experienced attorney.

Walk and Turn Test

The walk and turn test is considered a “divided attention” test. This means you will be required to focus on both a mental and physical task at the same time.

In this case, you will be asked to take nine steps on an imaginary line, heel-to-toe. While performing this action, the officer will look for numerous clues of intoxication, such as:

  • Starting too soon.
  • Stopping too soon.
  • Inability to maintain heel-to-toe walking.
  • Stepping off the line.
  • Using your arms to help balance.
  • Turning improperly.
  • Taking more or fewer than nine steps.

The officer will be looking for two of these clues. If two clues are met, you could be arrested.

One Leg Stand Test

The One Leg Stand Test involves standing on one leg while counting to a set number. This test demonstrates your ability to balance while also focusing on counting. The officer will look for signs of inebriation, including:

  • Putting your foot down early.
  • Hopping, twisting, or jumping around.
  • Using your arms to help balance.

The One Leg Stand test faces scrutiny, just like the other tests, because it can be difficult to perform these acts even if you are sober.

Contact a Marquette Attorney After a Standardized Field Sobriety Test

Police officers often incorrectly administer these tests. As a result, plenty of innocent people are wrongfully convicted.

Berger Law is here to answer any questions you may have. We are proud to be the only firm in the Upper Peninsula focusing exclusively on criminal defense. Our team is available 24/7. We’ll work with you to ensure no mistakes were made during your roadside stop. We provide current information about your case. At Berger Law, you’ll never be left in the dark. We know how scary and frustrating an OWI charge is, and we know where to poke holes in the case against you with the science, law, and expertise. It’s our hope to help resolve these frustrations and put you at ease.