Will You Be Convicted of DUI If You Fail a Field Sobriety Test in Georgia?
Facing DUI charges can be a stressful situation, especially if you are unsure about the laws and consequences. One of the most common tests that law enforcement officers use to determine a driver’s level of intoxication is the field sobriety test. But many people are left wondering, “Will I be convicted of DUI in Georgia if I fail a field sobriety test?”
Our Dunwoody DUI lawyers at Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers help clients who face drunk driving charges throughout the state of Georgia. If you were arrested for or convicted of DUI based on a failed field sobriety test, we can help.
What Are Field Sobriety Tests?
Field sobriety tests are standardized, on-site tests that law enforcement officers utilize to determine if a driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs. These tests are administered by trained officers, and the results they provide can be used as evidence against the driver in court. There are three main field sobriety tests that officers usually conduct, the One-Leg Stand, Walk-and-Turn, and Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, according to Legal Information Institute.
The first test, the One-Leg Stand, requires the driver to stand on one leg while the officer times them for 30 seconds. The second test, the Walk-and-Turn, involves the driver walking nine steps forward while focusing only on their feet and then walking back in a straight line. Lastly, the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test involves the officer holding an object in front of the driver’s eye and asking them to follow it, thereby tracking their eye movements.
Field Sobriety Tests Are Not Accurate
Firstly, it is important to understand that field sobriety tests are not infallible. They are designed to give law enforcement officers an indication of a driver’s level of intoxication, but they can be affected by factors such as the driver’s age, weight, and physical fitness, as well as external factors like the weather or road conditions. Therefore, it is possible to fail a field sobriety test even if you are not intoxicated.
Are Field Sobriety Tests Admissible As Evidence in Court?
In Georgia, field sobriety tests are used to establish probable cause for an arrest, but they are not admissible in court as evidence of guilt. This means that if you fail a field sobriety test, the results cannot be used against you in court as evidence of your guilt. However, if there is additional evidence of your intoxication, such as a breathalyzer or blood test, this evidence can be used against you in court.
Can You Refuse to Take a Field Sobriety Test?
Under Georgia’s implied consent law, drivers are required to submit to a breath or blood test if they are suspected of driving under the influence. While the implied consent law does not apply to field sobriety tests, you can still face serious consequences for refusing to take this test.
It is important to note that failing a field sobriety test can be used as evidence of probable cause for an arrest. This means that if you fail a field sobriety test, the officer has the right to arrest you for DUI. However, as we mentioned earlier, failing a field sobriety test does not automatically mean that you will be convicted of DUI.
Work with a Lawyer
Failing a field sobriety test in Georgia does not necessarily mean that you will be convicted of DUI. While field sobriety tests can be an indicator of intoxication, they are not infallible and can be affected by a variety of factors. If you have been arrested for DUI in Georgia, get help from a skilled attorney to challenge the results of the field sobriety tests and other evidence against you.
Our lawyers at Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers will work to ensure the best possible outcome for your case. We serve all of Georgia including Dunwoody, Atlanta, Johns Creek, Alpharetta, Sandy Springs, Cobb County, Fulton County, and Gwinnett County. Call 770-685-6400 to request a free case evaluation.