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Sacramento DUI Attorney Param Pabla Discusses Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

Field sobriety tests are less reliable than chemical tests for determining a subject’s blood alcohol content. Instead of directly measuring a person’s blood alcohol, field sobriety tests attempt to gauge intoxication using indicators like balance, memory, and ability to understand directions.

Although field sobriety tests as a whole are less reliable than chemical tests, even within this category, there is some variety. In 1977, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration studied several field sobriety tests and determined that three were useful as a determination of impairment. These three tests are referred to as the “standardized field sobriety tests.” They are:

  • The one-leg stand test;
  • The walk-and-turn test; and
  • The horizontal gaze nystagmus test.

In practice, police officers rarely restrict themselves to these three tests. They routinely offer batteries of tests that haven’t been shown to predict impairment. Some of the more common non-standardized tests Sacramento DUI attorneys encounter include:

  • The finger-to-nose test;
  • Counting backwards;
  • Reciting the alphabet;
  • Stating the date and time;
  • Answering distracting questions;
  • The finger count test; and
  • A handwriting test.

If you believe that the filed sobriety tests used in your case were scientifically invalid, an experienced Sacramento DUI attorney may be able to discredit them during cross-examination or have them excluded from evidence. For an evaluation of your DUI case, please call (916) 285-7900 for an initial consultation with Sacramento drunk driving lawyer Param S. Pabla.

Client Reviews
“Mr. Pabla represented me with my DUI case. He has excellent communication skills and always kept me informed. Mr. Pabla made sure I understood the process and my rights. He eased my mind through a very stressful situation. I highly recommend Mr. Pabla.” Gurpreet
“I am so happy with the service that I received from Param S. Pabla. Jarrett did a great job solving my legal issue and I can’t recommend him enough! He was able to do everything quickly, painlessly, and was ALWAYS available to talk when I needed him. If I ever need help again, I will definitely use him!" Boris
“Param was excellent in my court case of failure to stop at a stop sign. The officer could not see clearly because he was too far away. The officer insisted he could and said he had video but could not produce it at the trial. The officer then asked if he could suspend the trial to go get the video but the judge said he should have had plenty of time to get the video ready beforehand. Needless to say, the judge ruled in my favor and dismissed the case which enraged the officer. Pabla Param’s defense and cross examination skills were excellent and paramount in having the case dismissed. Highly recommended.” T.C.
“My husband and I needed to update everything -family trust, will, medical stuff. Param was really patient -answering all my questions -even when I asked them twice. He wanted to be sure I understood everything we were doing. All docs were sent to us so we could go through them on our own time before anything was finalized. I also liked when we were looking at medical stuff that he had a conversation with me about what I wanted and pointed out some things I didn’t think of.” Debbie