What You Need to Know About Field Sobriety Tests in Pennsylvania

Attorney Grant Travis | Travis Law Firm | Personal Injury Attorney, DUI Defense Attorney, Criminal Defense Attorney | Serving Erie, Crawford, Warren & all of Northwestern PA | Call the Travis Law Firm at 814-277-2222 today!

If a law enforcement officer suspects that any driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, he or she may choose to conduct field sobriety checks either at a sobriety checkpoint or after pulling the individual over. These are often to identify the probable cause for a DUI arrest or to determine if there is any chance that the driver could be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Standard field sobriety tests come from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration but an officer might also use non-standardized tests as well. The results of these tests may be used as part of the evidence to convict an Erie, Pennsylvania driver of a DUI offence. However, the validity and the reliability of such tests are not always 100% accurate. This can lead to innocent people being convicted.

This is why you need to hire an Erie, Pennsylvania DUI defense attorney. Some of the most common tests used for field sobriety purposes include;

  • The walk and turn test
  • The one leg stand test
  • The horizontal gaze nystagmus test

Other tests that are not approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration may also be used by an officer including the counting backwards test, balance test, the finger-to-nose test and the ABC test. Even though these are not approved by the NHTSA, they could still serve a role in the evidence used against the driver in a DUI case. The circumstances of your arrest can be extremely important for moving forward with your DUI defense.

An Erie, Pennsylvania defense attorney can help you understand the implications of a potential conviction. Speaking with an attorney sooner rather than later allows you to present this information while it’s still fresh in your mind. If the officer has crossed any line, then you may have grounds to have your charges reduced or thrown out entirely. Do not hesitate to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible.