We have all seen it in movies or on television where the police officer pulls a swerving car to the side of the road. The driver is asked to step out of his car and the officer begins to ask the driver a series of questions or instructs the driver to perform certain actions in an effort to determine if the driver is drunk.
Whether the questions include reciting the alphabet, counting backwards down from 20 or the actions are touching your nose or balancing on one foot, these field sobriety tests have become easily recognizable.
In Arizona, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety has even made standardized field sobriety test training a foundation requirement in its DUI program. Teaching police officers how to administer the tests so as to detect if a driver is intoxicated.
The course is completed over 3 days where, in a total of 24 hours of training time, the police officers are taught how to identify and define behaviors that indicate a driver is under the influence and is driving illegally.
An arresting officer’s testimony at a trial for driving under the influence has the potential to be very persuasive. If you are accused and charged with a DUI in Arizona, it would be wise to advise your lawyer on whether or not the police officer who pulled you over administered one or several field sobriety tests.
Your attorney may then investigate how proficient this police officer was at conducting these tests and question whether the officer’s SFST training was sufficient and what his or her instructors had to say about this officer’s proficiency in directing these field sobriety tests.
Talking to a lawyer who is familiar with DUI cases and field sobriety tests can often be the difference between acquittal and conviction after you have been charged with a DUI.