content='97CeBLFUSINwfj0qUtXU5QVplP2ZlkSnzzWokLFzQrw' name='google-site-verification'/> orange county dui attorneys: March 2013



Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Orange County DUI Lawyers Report Field Sobriety Tests "Designed For Failure"

In the course of a drunk driving investigation, police officers will usually administer a series of so-called "field sobriety tests" (FSTs). This may consist of a battery of three to five tests, usually selected by the officer; these may include walk-and-turn, one-leg-stand, horizontal gaze nystagmus, fingers-to-thumb, finger-to-nose, Rhomberg (modified position of attention), alphabet recitation, or hand-pat. In an increasing number of law enforcement agencies in Orange County, California and across the nation, a "standardized" battery of three tests will be given - walk-and-turn, one-leg-stand and nystagmus - and they must be scored objectively rather than using an officer's subjective opinion.
How valid are these FSTs? Not very, according to Orange County DUI attorney Lawrence Taylor, a former prosecutor and the author of the leading legal textbook "Drunk Driving Defense, 6th edition". The tests are basically "designed for failure". In 1991, Taylor reports, Dr. Spurgeon Cole of Clemson University conducted a study on the accuracy of field sobriety tests. His staff videotaped 21 individuals performing 6 common field sobriety tests, then showed the tapes to 14 police officers and asked them to decide whether the suspects had "had too much to drink to drive." Unknown to the officers, the blood-alcohol concentration of each of the 21 subjects was .00%. The results: 46% of the time the officers gave their opinion that the subject was too inebriated to drive. In other words, the FSTs were hardly more accurate at predicting intoxication than flipping a coin. Cole and Nowaczyk, "Field Sobriety Tests: Are They Designed for Failure?", 79 Perceptual and Motor Skills 99 (1994).
What about the new, improved "standardized" DUI tests? Research funded by the National Highway Traffic Administration determined that the three most effective field sobriety tests were walk-and-turn, one-leg stand, and horizontal gaze nystagmus. Yet, even using these supposedly more accurate -- and objectively scored -- tests, the researchers found that 47% of the subjects who would have been arrested based upon test performance actually had blood-alcohol concentrations of less than the legal limit. In other words, almost half of all persons "failing" the tests were not legally under the influence of alcohol!
According to the Orange County DUI lawyers in Mr. Taylor's Southern California law firm, the fact that these tests are largely unfamiliar to most people, and that they are given under extremely adverse conditions, make them more difficult for people to perform. As few as two miscues in performance can result in an individual being classified as "impaired" because of alcohol consumption when the problem may actually be the result of unfamiliarity with the test.
In short, field sobriety tests are unreliable and can be effectively handled in trial by an experienced DUI lawyer.
Lawrence Taylor is the senior member of an AV-rated law firm of Orange County DUI attorneys practicing drunk driving defense exclusively.
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Help From Orange County DUI Attorneys

You might not want to think about it, but if you have gotten a DUI you are probably going to need some major help. Getting a DUI is something that is very serious, and if you aren't careful about the way that you handle it, you could even make it worse without meaning to.
Consequently, if you are going to be able to go on with your life normally, you are going to want to take care to create a situation in which you are in control. The only way that you can be in control of your own fate when it comes to this is to get Orange County DUI Attorneys that can help you.
There are many reasons that you are going to need a Orange County DUI attorney, and the biggest reason is that he will know what he is doing and you do not. Getting a DUI and taking care of it in the court system is something that you are going to want to figure out. You have to be able to really know the system in order to make the most out of it, and that is what Orange County DUI attorneys are there for.
Another thing that you want to remember is that not everyone who advertises that they are lawyers is going to be able to help you in the way that you need help. This is part of why it is so important to deal with companies and law firms that you can trust, and to make sure that you have been given all of the chances to get a good lawyer. For more information and for help finding a lawyer that you can trust, visit so that you can make the most out of this experience.
Gold & Witham are experienced Orange County DUI attorneys who provide the expert assistance necessary for anyone charged with a DUI. To learn more, visit or call (877) We Do DUI (877-933-6384).
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