Michigan OWI Attorney J. Dallo explains Field Sobriety Tests in Michigan OWI Cases. If you’ve been arrested for an OWI offense in Bloomfield Hills, Birmingham, or anywhere in Oakland County, Michigan, or surrounding areas, contact Dallo Law, P.C. at (248) 283-7000 to schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss your defense.
A field sobriety test is a technique used by authorities to help determine whether they have enough evidence to then ticket the driver, and then charge them with some sort of a drunk driving matter. And some of the issues that occur are usually because the officer is employing some sort of tactic or the driver doesn’t know his or her rights or doesn’t always speak up. Or the officer sort of ignores certain things, let me give you some examples of what I mean. One example would be, let’s say that the driver has some sort of a knee issue, but never brings it up to the officer, and the officer is having them do a walking test, and things like that and the person is having a hard time walking. But they already have a hard time walking, but the officer either doesn’t know or doesn’t care, and ignores that and continues on with the test. Another example I’ve seen with a lot of women who wear high heels is perhaps they can’t or they don’t want to take off their heels or the officer doesn’t realize she’s wearing high heels or doesn’t give her the opportunity to remove them. And so only makes the test harder, than it would be if the person was not wearing them or just wearing sneakers. In a lot of ways the tests are set against the person. Even asking them to count the alphabet backwards, it’s one of the tests. It’s hard for someone who’s sober to do, and so asking someone who isn’t, or was driving, or might be tired to do something like that, is sort of a way that I’m not really fond of and I think it’s a tactic I don’t appreciate that happens. I understand that it’s one of the things that’s done but when I see that on the police report, we look at it, we look for areas to challenge. We’re always looking for ways that we can best represent our client and look at the attention to detail, so field sobriety tests just arms us with more information we can use.