Five Attacks on Field Sobriety Tests

by | Jul 11, 2016 | DUI | 0 comments

Cross Contamination Dynamic

When the arresting officer is cross-examined by your Michigan DUI lawyer, you may notice that attacking one test can cause a cross-contamination of the other tests.

In other words, a point made once by your attorney regarding a particular field sobriety test is not mentioned in regard to other sobriety tests. Rather than drawing repeated attention to the point, your lawyer may allow the jurors to realize that the same problem would affect the other tests. By doing this, the cross-examination is allowed to develop on its own. By making the same argument with each test, the cross-examination can become dull and the jurors may reach the conclusion that there are no other points to be made.

The Five Attacks

1. Sloped testing area.

No matter which test is administered (line test, Romberg test, one leg stand), it should be given on a level surface. However, this rarely occurs since a little gradient is almost always present.

Sometimes, slopes in two different directions are present in the testing area.

Plainly, the surface did not suddenly become level for one test if it was not level during another.

2. Absence of baseline.

A valid claim cannot be made that a poor performance on a test was due to alcohol impairment if the officer does not know how your performance would have been without alcohol consumption.

Maybe you lack coordination, were overly tired, or had another reason (other than alcohol) for testing poorly.

3. The officer lack of knowledge of the test.

The arresting officers experience, knowledge, and training in administering and evaluating field sobriety tests will be extolled by the prosecutor because the officer is portrayed as an expert by the state.

However, by asking the officer why the test is given in a certain way, your Michigan DUI lawyer may challenge this expertise. For instance, when administering the Romberg test, the head must be tilted back and the eyes closed, but few officers are aware of the reasons why. Therefore, this test presents a favorable opportunity to use the cross-contamination dynamic.

Contact Us

If you have been charged with a DUI and would like to speak to an experienced and competent Michigan DUI lawyer, please contact the Law Offices of Christopher Trainor & Associates at 800-961-8477.

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