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Knoxville Field Sobriety Testing Lawyer

Campbell County field sobriety test lawyer

Challenge Field Sobriety Evaluations With a Skilled Knox County Attorney

When a person is suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) in Tennessee, law enforcement officers may administer field sobriety tests to assess whether they are impaired due to the use of alcohol or other intoxicating substances. These tests are designed to determine if there is probable cause to arrest the individual for DUI. While participation in field sobriety tests is not mandatory, refusal can have consequences. It is important to understand what these tests entail and how they may affect the charges against you. At Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney, we can help you determine the best defense strategies against DUI charges, including challenging sobriety tests used by police officers.

BAC and Field Sobriety Tests

Tennessee law requires drivers who are arrested on suspicion of DUI to submit to blood alcohol concentration (BAC) testing, but it does not mandate participation in field sobriety tests. These tests, which are typically performed on the side of the road after a driver is pulled over by a police officer, are meant to gauge a driver's level of intoxication and determine whether it is likely that they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol while driving. While drivers can refuse to take field sobriety tests, it is important to note that refusal could result in a person being arrested and charged with DUI.

The state's implied consent law states that anyone operating a motor vehicle on Tennessee roadways has implicitly agreed, simply by the act of driving, to submit to drug or alcohol testing if arrested on suspicion of DUI. Refusing such testing can result in an automatic one-year driver's license revocation for a first offense and longer suspensions for subsequent offenses.

Types of Field Sobriety Tests Used

In Tennessee, law enforcement officers will typically use three standardized field sobriety tests. These are:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN): The driver will be instructed to track an object, such as a pen, by moving their eyes while keeping their head still. The officer will be looking for involuntary jerking movements of the eyes known as nystagmus.
  • Walk-and-Turn: A person will be asked to walk nine steps in a straight line from heel to toe. After the ninth step, they must perform a turn and take the same number of steps back in the opposite direction.
  • One Leg Stand: In this test, a driver will stand on one foot and raise their other leg about six inches off the ground. They will hold this position while counting aloud for approximately thirty seconds.

The officer will judge a driver's performance during each test for certain indicators of impairment. These may include a lack of balance, an inability to follow instructions correctly, or any signs that indicate an impaired level of coordination or concentration.

Factors That Can Affect Field Sobriety Test Results

While field sobriety tests are designed to accurately measure impairment, several factors can affect the results. Conditions such as:

  • Medical issues that affect mobility or balance problems can affect a person's ability to perform these tests even when sober.
  • Environmental issues such as uneven surfaces or inclement weather can also adversely affect test results.
  • Anxiety or nervousness due to being stopped by law enforcement can cause people to exhibit signs that officers misinterpret as indicators of impairment.
  • Fatigue and certain prescription medications can lead to less than optimal performance on field sobriety tests, resulting in false indications of intoxication.

Field Sobriety Test Assistance

If you have been arrested for DUI based on field sobriety test results in Tennessee, it is crucial to consult with an experienced attorney who has experience in DUI defense. At Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney, our firm understands how these tests work, and we know their limitations. We will help you defend against a DUI conviction by challenging the accuracy and administration of field sobriety tests while also examining and challenging other evidence against you.

We will look at factors that may have affected field sobriety tests, such as the arresting officer's inadequate training or their failure to administer the tests correctly. Our attorneys will analyze the circumstances surrounding your arrest to identify any violations of your rights or breaches of protocol. Using our knowledge, we will develop a compelling defense strategy to challenge the validity and accuracy of field sobriety tests.

Contact Our Knoxville DUI Attorneys for Field Sobriety Tests

If you are facing DUI charges in Tennessee following an arrest that was based on field sobriety test results, it is crucial to act promptly. Contact Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney at 865-281-1000 to schedule a free consultation today. Let us protect your rights and help you resolve your case sucessfully.

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