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Grant M. Scheiner - Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer

Standardized Field Sobriety Tests in Greater Houston DWI Cases

It’s late at night and you’re trying to get home.Maybe you were at a friend’s house or went to a bar here in Houston, but now you’re just trying to get home.On your route home, you realize that a police officer with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office is driving behind you and that his lights are on. You’re getting pulled over.

Now, maybe you’re sitting in your car, trying to figure out what you did wrong.Maybe you were going too fast… Maybe you failed to signal when you changed lanes… or Maybe your license plate light is not working and you had no idea. But you never think that you might spend that night in the Harris County Jail.

When the officer makes his way to your door, you roll down the window, and begin answering all his questions.“Where are you going?Do you know you were speeding? Where are you coming from? Were you drinking alcohol at that party?”

With this last question, you know it’s not going to be a good night.You might be asked to step out of your car and perform “standardized field sobriety tests.”You might have only had a couple of beers or maybe a margarita, and so you decide that taking a jab at these tests will be a snap.However, these tests are not really meant to be passed, even by those who are less than the 0.08 limit.

Some of the tests you may be asked to do may include walking a line; holding your leg up in front of you while you count out loud, or following a pen with your eyes.

Although these tests are supposed to be fair, they are not.For instance, an overweight person might find it difficult to hold their leg up in the air for an extended period of time.Someone who suffers from balancing issues may stumble while they walk the imaginary line.

Most people can be negatively affected by these random tests, because normally, these tests are being done outside, by the road.Cars may be wheezing by distracting you.The wind may be blowing too hard.You might be tired because it’s 2am. You’re probably nervous, scared or both, and even if you try really hard you just don’t know if you’re doing the tests right.You’re not allowed to practice or call someone for help.

But you are allowed to decide not to take those tests. If you don’t feel that you will do well on those tests, then you have the right not to do them. Unfortunately, despite what you decide, the likelihood that you will be arrested is very high.

Your best bet is after all is said and done, you find yourself a competent criminal defense attorney in Houston.