Filed Sobriety Tests (FST) are a series of exercise a police officer will ask you to preform when determining if you are under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is responsible for creating standardized field sobriety tests that are used across the country, so if you are in Michigan or Florida the tests used to determine intoxication should be the same everywhere. However, officers often deviate from the tests and ask driver’s to preform ridiculous tests that determine nothing, such as saying the alphabet backwards. Officers are given a manual and attend a pass / fail course that supposedly trains them to determine when a driver is under the influence of alcohol.
The NHTSA manual covers much more than the roadside tests. FST training begins before the officer even has contact with the suspected impaired driver.
Operating While Intoxicated Traffic Stop
The NHTSA Field Sobriety Test manual instructs the officers to look for certain “clues” when determining whether or not to stop a driver. There are 20 clues listed in the manual that may determine if a driver is intoxicated:
1. Turning with a wide radius
2. Straddling center of lane marker
3. “Appearing to be drunk”
4. Almost striking object or vehicle
6. Driving on other than designated highway
8. Speed more than 10 mph below limit
9. Stopping without cause in traffic lane
10. Following too closely
12. Tires on center or lane marker
13. Braking erratically
14. Driving into opposing or crossing traffic
15. Signaling inconsistent with driving actions
16. Slow response to traffic signals
17. Stopping inappropriately (other than in lane)
18. Turning abruptly or illegally
19. Accelerating or decelerating rapidly
20. Headlights off
As you can see, officers are trained to stop motorists under suspicion of operating while intoxicated for what many of us would consider everyday driving. Some of the reasoning for a DUI stop may be legitimate but many times it is a pretextual stop and nothing more than a fishing expedition.
Aaron J. Boria is a criminal defense lawyer in Michigan. His practice is dedicated to defending drivers accused drinking and driving. Aaron J. Boria has completed the practitioners course of Field Sobriety Testing which gives him the edge you may be looking for when cross-examing the police officer in the court room.
If you have been accused of Operating While Intoxicated contact drinking and driving defense lawyer, Aaron J. Boria today for a free consultation. (734) 453-7806