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.

Christopher Trainor and Associates Featured on WXYZ

Recently Christopher Trainor and Associates was featured on WXYZ 7 Action News in Detroit regarding a client's case against the Detroit Police Department in which the client was wrongly arrested and held in jail. The full article and can be found on the WXYZ website.

St Joseph, MI – Injuries Result from Wreck on I-94 near Martin Luther King Dr

St Joseph, MI (March 25, 2022) - A major car crash happened on an interstate in St Joseph on the afternoon of March 20. At approximately 5:10 p.m., an unspecified number of vehicles collided on Interstate 94. Reports show the accident happened on I-94 near Martin...

Zeeland, MI – Auto Accident on Fairview Rd at Washington Ave Ends in Injuries

Zeeland, MI (March 25, 2022) - An auto accident happened on the morning of March 25 in Zeeland that resulted in injuries. The wreck occurred shortly after 8:00 a.m., according to reports.  Sources say the collision took place on Fairview Road near Washington...

Paw Paw, MI – Major Car Crash on M-43 between 37th & 40th St

Paw Paw, MI (March 25, 2022) - A motor vehicle accident occurred in Paw Paw on the morning of March 23 that required an emergency response. The incident was reported to authorities in the area at around 12:21 p.m. Various responders were observed at the scene of the...

Romulus, MI – Motor Vehicle Collision Causes Injuries on I-94 near Vining Rd

Romulus, MI (March 25, 2022) - At least one person was hurt in a crash reported in Romulus on March 25. At approximately 12:55 p.m., police were dispatched to the scene of the wreck located on Interstate 94.  Responders including paramedics, fire crews, and...

Holland, MI – Injury Accident on Waverly Rd at 48th St Requires EMT Dispatch

Holland, MI (March 25, 2022) - On the morning of March 25, at approximately 6:55 a.m., a car accident in Holland required an emergency dispatch.  Reports indicate that a vehicle collided with a pole near 48th Street on Waverly Road.  To assist the injured...

Jackson, MI – Serious Car Accident on M-106 near Deweese Rd and Hawkins Rd

Jackson, MI (March 25, 2022) - Police officers in Jackson were dispatched to the scene of a major car crash on Friday, March 25. According to local officials, the collision happened at approximately 4:00 p.m. on M-106. While emergency personnel rendered aid to those...

Detroit, MI – Police Dispatched to Crash Scene on I-96 near Davison St

Detroit, MI (March 25, 2022) - On March 25, at least one person was injured in a car accident in Detroit. The wreck was reported to officials in the area at approximately 10:50 p.m. According to information from reports, the accident occurred on I-96 near Davison...

Wyoming, MI – Major Accident on 28th St near Clyde Park Ave

Wyoming, MI (March 24, 2022) - Highway patrol officers and first responders were called to the scene of a vehicle collision on March 24 on 28th Street in Wyoming. Reports show that an unspecified number of vehicles collided in the area, resulting in the injury of at...

St Clair, MI – Siblings Killed in Wreck on Kinney Rd near Burt Rd

St Clair, MI (March 24, 2022) - A brother and sister were killed in a two-car crash on Thursday, March 24 in Riley Township. The incident was reported north of Interstate 69 on Kinney Road near Burt Road.  Three people were also hospitalized with injuries,...