Maryland Drunk Driving Tests
When you are stopped by an officer because he/she suspects you are driving under the influence of alcohol or while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs, that police unbeknownst to you will prepare written investigative field notes.
A significant part of their field notes will include what is called “field sobriety tests”, which are standardized. There are several typical field sobriety tests that are administered at a traffic stop. These include the horizontal gaze nystagmus, walk and turn, one leg stand, and recitation of the alphabet. The performance of the driver of these tests may be evidence used to convict the driver.
Many times drivers are asked to perform these tests under circumstances that do not follow standard and reasonable guidelines. Here are a few of the types of circumstances where the officer has used poor judgment in administering standardized tests:
- having the driver face the headlights of either the police officer’s vehicle or the driver’s vehicle.
- not demonstrating and explaining each test.
- requiring the driver to perform the tests on surfaces that are neither fair nor reasonable, including but not limited to hills, severe slopes, potholes, surfaces covered with gravel and debris, or slippery surfaces.
- administering the walk and turn field sobriety test as well as the one leg stand test to individuals over 65 years of age, and individuals with back, leg, or middle ear problems, as they may have difficulty performing these tests
- administering the walk and turn and the one leg stand tests to individuals wearing heels more than 2 inches high
- administering the walk and turn and one leg stand to individuals 50 pounds overweight and to individuals who have disabilities of varying levels to lower extremities.
Establishing that any of the above conditions occurred may result in the Court not accepting the testimony of the police officer with regard to these tests and it may also affect other testimony of the officer in other areas because of the lack of the officer’s credibility having been effectively attacked.
Fred Antenberg is an attorney who represents individuals charged with Driving Under the Influence and with Driving While Impaired by alcohol and/or drugs, and will defend you in court. Fred represents DWI/DUI cases in Howard County, Maryland, as well as throughout the State of Maryland. CONTACT Fred today at 410- 730-4404.