Attorney Zachuary Meranda is certified in DWI Detection and Field Sobriety Testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). He has firsthand knowledge of these processes and how they should be conducted. As a result, he knows exactly how to fight your DUI based on police misconduct during your arrest. Few attorneys have this insight or certification, so do not hesitate to learn how The Meranda Law Firm LTD can help. Call (614) 707-4239 for a consultation!
Roadblocks are one method used to get intoxicated drivers off the roadways in Ohio. The Sobriety Checkpoint Guide from the National Highway Safety Administration covers the standards for conducting DUI sobriety roadblocks in an attempt to catch drunk drivers. There are three basic standardized field sobriety tests used to determine if the driver is too impaired to operate a vehicle safely. They are:
The tests were developed by the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) and contained in the "DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing" manual used by law enforcement. Aside from being stopped at a roadblock sobriety checkpoint, a driver suspected of drunk driving is always subject to arrest, and field sobriety testing is one method used to establish that the individual is likely under the influence of alcohol.
Alcohol consumption causes a jerky eye movement called "nystagmus". The test involves having the suspect follow with the eyes a pen or finger moved in a horizontal direction while keeping the head steady. There is a checklist for the officer to follow when administering the test and while watching for any nystagmus. The test administrator notes whether the eyes are tracking equally and have smooth pursuit. This is the "horizontal gaze nystagmus" (HGN test). This may seem like a reliable test but it is flawed. The test is not completely accurate because even the smallest amount of alcohol can cause nystagmus. Roadside dust, allergies, or other elements can affect the condition of the eyes or eye movement as well. This is the test that has the highest degree of accuracy, and when measured in controlled testing, was found to be only 77% correct, when administered correctly. This is a large margin of error.
Other factors can affect the validity of field sobriety testing. A driver with a bad back or one who is overweight may not be capable of performing a one leg stand or other required physical tasks. A driver may be too nervous to perform the tests satisfactorily. If your DUI/OVI arrest was partially based on field sobriety testing evidence, you can have our Columbus OVI attorney evaluate your case. There is doubt at many levels as to the actual reliability and accuracy of the tests.
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