How Strong Is The Evidence In Your DUI Case?
Before they can arrest you, police must have probable cause or a reasonable suspicion that you are driving while intoxicated. Speeding or having a broken taillight is not a probable cause for a DUI arrest, so police may ask you to perform certain tests of your coordination and agility. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has approved the following field sobriety tests as reliable indicators of impairment:
- Horizontal gaze nystagmus test: The natural, involuntary jerking of your eyes when you look from side to side is exaggerated when you drink alcohol. There are dozens of reasons why your nystagmus may be exaggerated, including excess caffeine and heredity.
- Walk-and-turn test: Officers will ask you to walk forward heel to toe, then turn and walk back. They will observe whether you follow directions, lose your balance and touch your heels to your toes.
- One-leg stand test: This complicated test requires you to stand on one foot with your toe pointed while counting to 30. Police watch for you to put your foot down, sway or hop to keep your balance, or use your arms to steady yourself.
These subjective tests are often difficult to pass under perfect conditions, let alone on the side of the road with police lights flashing. Our attorneys know the best ways to defend against the results of FSTs, including challenging the way officers administer the tests.
Chemical Blood Alcohol Content Tests
While you have the right to refuse to submit to FSTs, Pennsylvania implied consent law requires you to comply with a request for a breath test, blood draw or urinalysis. Refusal means additional charges and penalties. However, if you comply and police charge you with DUI, the skill of an experienced criminal attorney will be crucial to your case.
We examine whether police follow the strict guidelines for BAC tests, including the precise time limits for administration, the condition and calibration of the equipment, and the chain of custody of your sample.
We Stand For Your Rights
From the first moment police decide to pull you over, your rights are at risk. At Louis W. Emmi Attorney at Law, we know that a traffic stop can quickly become a DUI arrest based on unreliable evidence, invalid tests or unwarranted searches. Contact us at 412-437-8124 or through our online form to schedule a consultation at our Pittsburgh offices. Having an experienced lawyer at your side can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of your case.