Field sobriety tests in a San Diego DUI case create a great deal of debate. They’re voluntary but most folks are scared and end up doing them. They help the DUI attorney prosecutor and are often used to try to get a conviction for drunk driving in San Diego courts.
What are these FST’s? Basically, they become a determination by the officer of whether the driver has the necessary coordination and balance to stand on one leg for thirty seconds, without using her or his arms for balance, or to walk on an imaginary line for 9 steps, turn around and walk back with her or his hands at her or his sides.
The main problem is that it is unknown to the officer, judge, San Diego DMV hearing officer, jury, attorney prosecutor or criminal defense lawyer, if the driver would have the ability to perform such abnormal tasks in an stress-free environment not along the roadside or otherwise.
Since the San Diego DUI police officer arrests the driver because of the driver’s subjective inability to perform these acrobatics and gymnastics to the officer’s satisfaction, the officer notes in his report the person failed or did not properly perform these field sobriety tests.
It is incumbent upon the DUI defense lawyer to point out the absence of certain observations to the benefit of the accused.
Attorneys want to establish when the driver is doing normal physical things, she or he is acting normal. That it is only when she or he or told to do abnormal tasks does she or he purportedly have problems.