DWI – Standardized FST Tests

Dallas DWI Attorney – Defending people accused of Driving While Intoxicated: How do the police use the tests they perform out on the roadside?

FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS for DWI used in Dallas, (and all of Texas)

In order to arrest someone for DWI, most Dallas, (and all Texas) police officers follow the “standardized” tests designed to detect intoxication.

1) HGN: Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test. This test checks your eyes, and whether your eyes jerk involuntarily while following an object. Officers look for 1) smooth pursuit, 2) nystagmus (jerking in the eye), 3) nystagmus before 45 degrees. There are 6 clues the officer is trained to look for, if 4 are present, they consider this evidence of intoxication.

The tests must be performed correctly for the results to be valid.

2) Walk and Turn: Where the officer has you walk a line, turn, and walk back. A person is tested on their ability to follow directions of the officer (mental), and actually perform the walk and turn (physical). Unfortunately, the officer does not advise the person what he is testing for, so there is no way for a person unfamiliar with the test to know what the officer will count off for.

3) One Leg Stand: This is test where person stands on one leg for 30 seconds, while counting. Again, the officer is looking to see if the individual can follow directions (mental), and if they actually can perform the test as told (physical). Once again, the officer does not tell the subject what he will be counting off for.

Police use the above tests to see if they think you might be intoxicated. Unfortunately, the tests aren’t perfect. For instance, they don’t tell you everything they are testing for. So you may do some things that in the police officer’s mind gives them a “clue” that you are intoxicated. In your mind, it had nothing to do with intoxication, and if they had told you what they were looking for, you would have performed the test with all that in mind, or may have told the officer why that test would be unfair to you (medical conditions, etc.).

If the police allege that you failed these tests, you will be arrested – whether the performed the tests correctly or not. You will need to contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer who works on DWI cases.

We have years of experience as Dallas DWI Lawyers defending those accused of DWI in Dallas County. If you are reading this, you likely are needing a Dallas DWI Attorney – call us for further assistance.