Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in field sobriety tests

Arlington Heights DUI defense attorneyBeing pulled over can be scary. Matters become worse when the officer comes to your window and asks you to step out of your car, or requests that you submit to a breathalyzer or chemical test. Do you really have to comply, though? What, exactly, are your rights in this situation? More importantly, what are the potential consequences for refusing to comply? The following explores these questions, and provides you with information on where to find help with your DUI case.

Ownership of a License and Implied Consent

When you applied for your driver’s license, and that application was approved, you gave what is considered “implied consent.” Essentially, this means that you gave consent, at that time, to be tested for impairment if an officer pulls you over or arrests you for suspicion of a DUI. Now, they cannot force you to submit to chemical or breath tests. They can, however, arrest you and suspend your license for failure to submit to chemical or breath testing.


Illinois DUI defense lawyerGetting pulled over for a DUI is a nerve-wracking experience. It is also one that can make you feel powerless - as if you have to comply. You do have rights, however, and you should exercise them to the fullest extent. This includes your right to refuse a field sobriety test. Before you do, though, there are some things you should know. The following explains further, and provides you with some key information on how to ensure all of your rights are protected in the face of a DUI charges case.

The History and Use of the Field Sobriety Test

Developed and first implemented in the 1970s, the field sobriety tests are the standard method officers use to determine if a driver may be intoxicated. They are not quite as fail-proof as some might lead you to believe, however. In fact, sober people can find it difficult to pass the field sobriety test. This can be especially true for someone who suffers from a medical condition that causes poor balance or lack of eye coordination. One can also fail the test for other reasons that are completely unrelated to intoxication (i.e. fatigue, stress, etc.). Yet field sobriety tests are used to make DUI arrests each and every day.


Arlington Heights DUI defense lawyerWhen you are arrested on a DUI (driving under the influence), your license is automatically suspended unless you choose to fight back. Would you really fight, though, if you know that you did drink, got behind the wheel, and tests showed you to be over the legal limit? Maybe not. In fact, many drivers in the same situation simply accept their “punishment.” Yet some of these drivers may not have ever been over the legal limit. The test may have simply been inaccurate. Sounds crazy, right? It is actually more common that you might think.

Field Sobriety Tests

Field sobriety tests have long been the standard test for establishing reasonable suspicion of intoxication while driving. What officers will not tell you is that this test is not easy to complete, even when you are sober. In fact, a couple of years ago, NBC asked some people walking around the mall to do the field sobriety test. All of them failed in one area or another. Some were just not very balanced people. Others were just too tired to focus enough mental energy on the verbal aspects of the test. Add in nervousness and a late-night stop into the mix, it is no wonder so many people fail this test.


Posted on in Criminal Law

sobrietyThe breath or blood chemical test is usually the primary evidence in a DUI prosecution. But if such evidence is unavailable, typically because the accused exercised his or her right to refuse to provide a sample, the prosecution must normally rely on field tests.

Under the theory that "more is better," many officers employ a wide range of tests: reciting a portion of the alphabet, counting backwards from one number to another one, and even trick questions like "what was the year of your second birthday?"

However, there are only three field tests that are approved by the National Highway Safety Administration for use in these situations. And, each one is flawed in its own way.


budget crisis, DUI evidence, Arlington Heights Criminal Defense AttorneyThe state of Illinois has been dealing with a financial crisis for the past four months, with lawmakers gridlocked on passing a new state budget. So far, many state agencies and non-profits that rely on funding from the state have been unaffected and are still receiving those funds. However, there are programs which are beginning to feel the sting of the budget impasse, which could eventually trickle down and affect the general public.

One of the areas that are feeling the brunt of lawmakers’ inability to pass a new budget is law enforcement training. A recent statement by the director of Southern Illinois Criminal Justice Training announced the cancellation of approximately half of the certification courses which police academy graduates attend. After November 1st, these classes will be on hold until further notice.

The Southern Illinois Criminal Justice Training unit provides training to over 1,500 officers in 27 Illinois counties. Funding for these classes come from court fees and traffic fines which are collected by the state. However, due to the budget crisis, these funds have been frozen, leaving the training center without the ability to fund classes to train new officers.