Everyone is essentially familiar with the physical, on-the-scene tests associated with DWI (or Driving While Intoxicated) cases. For those who may not be so familiar with the subject, physical, field DWI tests include the horizontal gaze nystagamus test, or the HGN test, the walk and turn test and the stand on one leg test. Read on to find out exactly what these tests entail and why they have the potential to hurt, not help, your case.
The Horizontal Nystagamus Test
This firs test focuses upon the involuntary jerking of an eyeball, and is implemented by an officer asking a DWI suspect to follow (with their eyes) a small light from side to side. Someone who is impaired by alcohol or under the influence of another impairing substance will not be able to follow the light smoothly and the officer will be able to notice overt jerking and other unnatural movements. The potential issues and holes associated with this test include those who suffer from eye issues or disease. The light may only work to impair and hurt the eye of such a person and therefore this specific test may not be fair and appropriate for everyone.
The Walk and Turn Test
Perhaps the most famous of physical field sobriety tests, this DWI exam involves an officer asking the suspect to take nine heel-to-toe steps in a straight line. Then, the suspect must turn on one of their feet and walk back the same way for nine steps. In this test officers are looking for an inability to balance, failure to stop properly or a failure to follow directions. This test may not be fair for those with physical ailments or similar handicaps.
The Stand on One Leg Test
Similar to the walk and turn test, this stand on one leg test involves the subject standing with one foot on the ground and the other raised a few inches in the air for 30 seconds. Also similar to the walk and turn test, the officer is looking for problems balancing, and once again, those with physical limitations do not have a fair shot at completing this test in a satisfactory manner.
As always, you should absolutely never drink and drive. Secure a designated driver or call a cab or ride-sharing service before you even consider getting behind the wheel. There is no way to avoid a DWI charge than to entirely abstain from operating a vehicle after consuming any amount of alcohol. If you need legal representation for a DWI case, contact Jarvis and Garcia for representation and guidance.