Field Sobriety Tests

Get the facts about these tests from a knowledgeable South Carolina DUI lawyer

When a police officer in South Carolina pulls you over for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), one of the first things that officer might ask you to do is to take a field sobriety test. Many drivers automatically take such tests. But most people might not realize all the rules surrounding them under South Carolina's DUI laws.

Attorney Matt Bodman thoroughly understands the rules and regulations involving field sobriety tests. A former assistant prosecutor, attorney Bodman has dealt with such cases on both sides of the law. That's why so many people in Columbia and throughout the state routinely rely on him when they have been charged with DUI.

So whether you failed your field sobriety test or refused to take one, don't simply assume that you will automatically be convicted of drunk driving. Many legal options exist and attorney Bodman can help you explore all of them.

What are common field sobriety tests?

There are three main field sobriety tests administered by police officers soon after they stop someone under suspicion of drunk driving:

  • Walk the line and turn test - As the name suggests, this tests requires people to walk in a straight line from heel to toe. The test-taker must normally count out loud for each step, then turn and walk back in the same direction. Many people with poor balance who are completely sober frequently fail this test. That's why this test is often challenged in court.
  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus test - This test involves a police officer moving a pen or a similar object in front of your face to see if your eyes can follow the object without moving your head. Sober people with poor eyesight sometimes have trouble following the pen. The subject of the test might also have difficulty because of the lighting - is the sun or a bright streetlight shining into their eyes? Was this test properly videotaped? All of these issues need to be taken into consideration.
  • One leg stand - In this test, the person must stand on one leg and hold the other leg in the air a few inches off the ground for 30 seconds while counting. Many sober adults cannot complete this test. Experienced attorneys know they must challenge the results of a one leg stand test and other /field sobriety tests.

Are field sobriety tests mandatory?

Many people have no idea they have the right to refuse to take a field sobriety test in South Carolina.

However, it is important to realize that some police officers might choose to arrest you if you refuse to take a field sobriety test. But just because you were arrested after refusing to take such a test, don't automatically assume that you will be convicted of drunk driving. Contact attorney Bodman as soon as possible to discuss the details of your case.

Why should I hire attorney Bodman to handle my case?

Attorney Bodman frequently challenges the results of field sobriety tests in court. Don't underestimate the complexity of your case. Contact our law firm right away. You only have a limited amount of time to take legal action. Your best interests truly matter here. Contact us today.

South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense LawyersSouth Carolina Association of Criminal Defense LawyersSouth Carolina BarSouth Carolina BarSouth Carolina Association for JusticeSouth Carolina Association for JusticeRichland County Bar AssociationRichland County Bar Association2015 Legal Elite of the Midlands2015 Legal Elite of the Midlands