DeToto, Van Buren & Brown - Houston Criminal Lawyers
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Field Sobriety Tests

Houston Drunk Driving Defense Lawyers
Harris County DUI DWI Attorneys

Police officers often administer field sobriety tests during a DWI stop. These tests include walk-and-turn, the one-leg stand, and the horizontal gaze test. Although these tests are administered with the intent of proving intoxication by alcohol, their results are highly subjective.

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The attorneys at DeToto, Van Buren & Brown in Houston, Texas are highly experienced in DWI defense cases. We know how to challenge the evidence gathered by police through field sobriety tests, and other tests. As a former Harris County prosecutor, attorney Richard DeToto has been involved in more than 5,000 DWI cases.

The Reliability of Field Sobriety Tests

In the early 1970′s, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began to research the effectiveness of field sobriety tests in DWI cases. Of many tests, only three were found to be reliable enough to be used in DWI stops. The NHTSA’s own testing determined the following:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus — 77% accuracy
  • Walk-and-Turn — 68% accuracy
  • One-Legged Stand — 65% accuracy

Other factors may affect the accuracy of these tests: the police officer’s training, physiological factors, prescription drug use, and more. If you are facing drunk driving charges and you had to complete a field sobriety test, our firm’s attorneys can challenge your test results and their scientific reliability.

Breathalyzer Tests

The reliability of breathalyzer tests is a hotly contested topic in courts throughout the country. There are many factors that can affect breathalyzer test results:

  • The thermometer in the breath test machine contains a liquid that must be kept at 34 degrees Celsius. Test results can be skewed if the liquid is above or below this temperature.
  • The breathalyzer test assumes that the body temperature of the tester is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Higher or lower body temperature can affect blood alcohol content (BAC) test results.
  • The breathalyzer test assumes an individual’s blood breath partition ratio to be 2001:1. However, this ratio is often as low as 1001:1 and as high as 3200:1.
  • Not all police officers are properly trained on how to use breathalyzer test equipment.

DWI Attorneys That Will Stop at Nothing

DeToto, Van Buren & Brown offers straight-talking, aggressive defense to those charged with drinking and driving. If you have been arrested for drunk driving, remember the prosecution will do everything it can to convict you. Ensure that your rights are protected by attorneys who will fight for you.

Contact us our offices in Houston, Texas soon as possible. Time is not on your side.

DeToto, Van Buren & Brown
300 Main Street, Suite 200
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 223-0051