Field Tests and Breath Tests
Field Sobriety Tests and Breath Test Information
Field sobriety tests are designed to give police probable cause to make an arrest. Many people cannot pass a field sobriety test even when sober. Breath tests or blood tests give arresting officers hard evidence of guilt or innocence. The primary difference is that while a suspect can refuse a field sobriety test with no penalty, refusing a breath test will result in an automatic administrative license revocation.
Helping Clients Make Informed Decisions
At Fitzpatrick Hagood Smith & Uhl LLP, in Dallas, Texas, our DWI lawyers are committed to helping people make informed decisions with regard to their DWI. The police have extensive training in how to spot drunk drivers and how to administer field sobriety tests. Most people have seen video of police administering the three segments of the field sobriety test: the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN), the walk and turn, and the one leg stand. What most people do not know is that the police expect DWI suspects to perform perfectly and an imperfect performance will usually result in an arrest. While there is no legal penalty for refusing the field sobriety tests, a refusal will usually result in an arrest.
Field sobriety tests must be administered in a proper manner. Deviations from the proscribed method can result in evidence being found inadmissible during a criminal trial or civil hearing. In addition to the three standardized tests, police may administer tests involving recitation of the alphabet backwards, counting backwards, or the "Rhomberg" balance tests.
Breath and Blood Tests
Most police cruisers do not have portable breathalyzers, so officers who suspect someone of driving under the influence must place them under arrest and transport them to the police station for a breath test or a blood test. The Texas Implied Consent law compels drivers to submit to a blood or breath test or face driver's license suspension. A wide range of circumstances can affect both tests. Some things that can influence the tests are the consumption of large amounts of alcohol immediately prior to driving, the calibration of the breathalyzer, and the reliability of the lab where the blood sample is tested.
Our DWI lawyers work hard to help our clients make informed decisions through any DWI proceeding. Our attorneys have the skill, experience, and knowledge to effectively represent our clients interests.
Contact our Dallas, Texas, DWI Lawyers
Contact the attorneys at Fitzpatrick Hagood Smith & Uhl LLP if you or someone you know has been charged with driving under the influence. Our attorneys represent clients in the state of Texas as well as nationally. We can be reached by phone at (214.504.1133, by e-mail, or by filling out the intake form on our Contact Us page.