Field Sobriety Testing

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Posted by Christopher Combs on

Field Sobriety Testing in St. Louis, MO. If you are pulled over for suspicion of drinking and driving in St. Louis, the police officer will ask you to perform a field sobriety test for the purpose of determining if you are sufficiently intoxicated to administer a breathalyzer or chemical examination and then charge you. These elaborate tests are designed to measure physical and mental perception, but they are highly inaccurate. If a similar situation has happened to you, a St. Louis criminal defense lawyer at Combs Waterkotte can help.

If you have been charged with a DUI, a DWI, assault by DWI, or any other drinking and driving offense, call a St. Louis field sobriety testing defense attorney at Combs Waterkotte immediately at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online. Our legal team can meet with you to discuss the specifics of your case and look at the legitimacy of the field sobriety testing procedures you went through.

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What Are the Types of Field Sobriety Testing in St. Louis?

The Standardized Field Sobriety Test was developed by the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA). After extensive research and testing, these tests are still not 100 percent accurate or correct and, most unfortunate, innocent individuals can be found guilty of severe offenses.

The types of field sobriety tests (FSTs) are:

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Can I Refuse Field Sobriety Testing in St. Louis?

In St. Louis or anywhere in Missouri, a person is not required to perform field sobriety tests. However, the Implied Consent Law, Missouri Revised Statute §302.574, does enforce the use of chemical testing. This means that if you are pulled over for driving while intoxicated in St. Louis and refuse to submit to a chemical test (breath, blood, or urine), your Missouri driving privilege will be revoked for one year regardless of any charge or conviction on the original DWI offense. You then must go through the steps to meet the license reinstatement requirements.

Field sobriety tests are flawed. They are often inadmissible in court due to their volatility and subjectivity. The experienced and tenacious St. Louis field sobriety testing attorneys at Combs Waterkotte can help you fight the charges and “results” of the FSTs that were administered to you at the time of your arrest. Call us as soon as possible at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online.

What Are the Flaws in St. Louis Field Sobriety Tests?

In many cases, the standard FSTs used by St. Louis authorities can be hard to pass if you are sober. Medical conditions – such as diabetes, epilepsy, or dementia – physical conditions, the use of prescription medications, and other circumstances can make it appear a person is drunk when they are not. For some individuals, performing multiple tasks at one time can be difficult without drugs or alcohol in their systems. That doesn’t even take into consideration the fact that the field sobriety tests themselves are not accurate.

The NHTSA tasked the Southern California Research Institute with standardizing the administration of field sobriety tests in order to reduce the error rate. After measuring in the 50 percent range, this new standardization gave the HGN a 77% accuracy rate, the WAT a 68% accuracy rate, and the OLS a 65% accuracy rate. When all three were used together, they were correct 82% of the time. Also, and perhaps most notably, these tests are frequently administered incorrectly by St. Louis law enforcement, leaving innocent people with criminal charges.

If it can be shown that there were errors in how the field sobriety testing was given or interpreted, it can create doubt as to the legitimacy of your arrest in the first place. There is no scientific proof that these tests are 100 percent accurate. Being arrested based on faulty information is inherently unjust and you need someone who has the ability and experience to bring this to light. Call the St. Louis criminal defense attorneys at Combs Waterkotte today at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online.

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You Need a Skilled St. Louis Field Sobriety Testing Attorney in Your Corner Today

Despite the tests themselves being flawed, these FSTs are used as probable cause for many arrests. Do not take these charges lightly. A felony charge has the potential to change the rest of your life, impacting your family life, employment status, and leave a permanent stain on your criminal record. Even a misdemeanor charge can bring jail time and heavy fines.

The Combs Waterkotte is here to help. We are proud to be one of the St. Louis area’s highest-rated criminal defense law firms. Call us right away at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online for a free, confidential case review with our St. Louis field sobriety testing attorney.