If the police stop you in Arizona because they suspect that you are driving under the influence, they may ask you to submit to a field sobriety test (FST). Field sobriety tests are supposed to tell an officer if you are too impaired to drive, but the accuracy of field sobriety tests is controversial and frequently contested. If you are charged with DUI on the basis of a field sobriety test in Arizona, you will need a good DUI lawyer fast. Contact an experienced Phoenix DUI attorney immediately after any arrest for DUI anywhere in the state.
Even a healthy and entirely sober adult can have trouble with a field sobriety test if it’s not properly conducted. The most popular test, the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test, is supposed to measure the ability of your brain to control the movements of your eyes – an ability and control that’s impaired by alcohol. If you take the HGN test, a police officer will have you look at a tiny object like a pen or pencil. As you follow the object, the officer looks for involuntary eye movements that indicate the brain’s loss of full control over the eyes. The test can indicate intoxication, but it can also mean a number of other things. The driver could be suffering from a neurological or visual disorder or using a legally prescribed pharmaceutical drug. The HGN test – one of the main tools police use in DUI investigations – is for all practical purposes entirely unreliable and a waste of time.
Now or in the future, if you are arrested for driving under the influence on the basis of an HGN test, call an experienced Phoenix DUI attorney at once. HGN tests can be disputed, and when your attorney successfully challenges the result of an HGN test, your DUI charge in some cases may be reduced or entirely dismissed. A good DUI attorney will protect your rights and advocate aggressively for justice on your behalf. If you are charged with driving under the influence anywhere in Arizona, arrange at once to speak with an experienced Phoenix DUI attorney.