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Field Sobriety Test: The Eye Test

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FIELD SOBRIETY TEST:
THE EYE TEST

Field sobriety tests are one of the methods used by law enforcement to determine sobriety in suspected DWI or DUI cases. Understanding how this methodology works, what law enforcement considers a significant sign of intoxication, and how this might be applied to a DWI case is vital for building a proper defense.

Today, we’ll be looking at “The Eye Test”, also known as the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus. It is one of three standardized field sobriety tests created by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), designed to identify drivers who have been operating their vehicles while under the influence.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus is the lateral jerking movement of the eyeballs, akin to the movement of your eyes when you look sharply to the far sides of your peripheral vision. The term “nystagmus” is the technical term for rapid involuntary movement of the eyes, which can occur when there is some form of irregularity in the inner ear system of the person or driver in question.One stimuli that can cause this movement is alcohol, as it hinders your ability to fully control the mobility of your eye muscles. 

“The eye test” is conducted by a police officer, and is administered by the officer moving his penlight in front of the driver’s eyes about a foot away from a person’s face. The officer will ask the driver to follow the light with their eyes, and the officer will examine the pupils of the driver to see the angle at which their eyes are twitching. If the officer notices that your eyes twitch at a certain angle, this is considered a sign of potential intoxication or high blood alcohol level.

Accuracy of the DWI Eye Test

Compared to other standard or stereotypical sobriety tests, such as the one leg stand test, or the walk and turn test, the eye test is fairly new and tends to be more accurate.

Where the balance related tests are often designed to have a sort of pass-fail reading, which can be thrown off by a much wider range of issues beyond intoxication, the eye test is designed to actually examine involuntary bodily spasms that may be brought about by excess alcohol in the body.

Apart from having serious eye issues, there is no reason that a person who is reasonably healthy and otherwise capable of driving should have Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus at all. The stimuli that is measured by the eye test makes it one of the most accurate field sobriety tests, with an approximate 77 percent accuracing rating in detecting blood alcohol contents that exceed the legal limit.

Of course, one issue remains. In spite of the perceived accuracy rating, the administration of the eye test still relies on the discretion of the police officers administering the test. That means that while the test itself is fairly accurate, the officer performing the test may read the results differently on a case by case basis.

Why Is This A Problem?


In most cases, officers will be trained to perform these field sobriety tests in order to obtain the most accurate results possible. However, human error is always a factor, and there are plenty of circumstances that can impact the reading of a test that relies on such slight physical responses.

When facing a potential DWI charge, the impact on a person’s life is immense, from the potential fines and punitive measures to the loss of your driver’s license. Relying on a test that may provide unreliable results due to human error isn’t always a comforting experience for people whose future hangs on the results. That’s why there is an increasing and ongoing need for skilled Houston DWI lawyers to protect those wrongfully accused.

If you or a loved one has been subjected to a field sobriety test, taken the eye test, or have any general questions about field sobriety testing, eye tests, or other DWI detection processes, contact Trichter & LeGrand today for a free consultation. You can speak with one of our expert criminal defense attorneys in Houston, and learn all about the various sobriety tests and other DWI detection methods that may be used and defended against in court.

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Field Sobriety Test: The One Leg Stand

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FIELD SOBRIETY TEST:
THE ONE LEG STAND

The “one leg stand” test is one of three standardized field sobriety tests implemented and sanctioned by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 

The test is designed to measure the body’s response and reflex to certain stimuli that are believed to manifest as a result of consuming alcoholic beverages.

Police officers administer this test by having a driver stand on one foot approximately six inches above the ground with their toe pointed forward. 

Then, the police officer asks the driver to keep their foot off the ground and count by one-thousands for 30 seconds. 

While doing this, the driver must keep their arms to their side and look down at their foot.

The way that this test is administered is innately flawed as many people who are sober are unable to keep proper balance when on one foot. 

The requested actions that make up the “one leg stand” are counter-intuitive to creating balance. 

This leads to many improper readings and could trigger an unwarranted DUI, requiring the necessity of a Houston DWI lawyer.

While you are performing the test, the administering police officer will be observing your movements to determine whether your are exhibiting any loss of balance considered to be indicative of impairment. 

The police officer will also be keeping an eye for specific indicators that are also considered to be indicative of impairment; these movements include but are not limited to:

  • Swaying while attempting to maintain balance
  • Constant hopping while trying to maintain your balance
  • Putting your foot down before the test is completed
  • Using your arms in any way to maintain your balance

The Problem with the One Leg Stand Test

The problem with the indicators used in the one leg stand test, are that they are perfectly normal reflexes when attempting to maintain balance even without the consumption of alcohol. 

It is this very reason that the test is seen as innately flawed and is designed to make people fail. 

The test also fails to accommodate for those who are elderly, have back or leg problems, people who are overweight or people who generally have poor balance.

Moreover, there is no way to really “pass” this test. 

Police officers generally overestimate the level of intoxication for drivers who voluntarily submit to the field sobriety test. 

Due to the fact that a driver is pulled over and made to prove their sober nature to a police officer, it is a given than the ordinary individual will be extremely nervous.

The fact that you don’t know how long the test is going to be is going to cause a driver to be even more nervous. 

A nervous feeling is usually accompanied by many physical manifestations such as shaking, loss of balance and sweating, all potential red flags to a police officer.

If you or a loved one has been subjected to a field sobriety test and have taken the one leg stand test, or you have any general questions about field sobriety tests, contact Trichter & LeGrand today for a free consultation with one of our expert DWI attorneys in Houston, TX.

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Attorneys on-call 24/7. Form Submissions have a fast response time. The use of this form does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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Is NSA Data Mining Unconstitutional? We Think So.

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IS NSA DATA MINING UNCONSTITUTIONAL?

DWI Lawyer At Trichter & LeGrand Law firm

The one big thing that sets “OUR” United States apart from most other countries are “OUR” rights in what is commonly called “The Bill of Rights.”  

A cornerstone right found therein is in the Fourth and Ninth Amendment and is the “right of privacy.” 

“Our” Constitution established a “limited government” and reserved all other power to the “We the People” and to the States. 

That said, the right to privacy was a reserved right.  

It was supposed to be out of the reach of the federal government. 

That bureaucracy now says it needs to invade each our privacy rights without any reasonable belief we are engaged in wrongdoing. It says this is necessary to protect us from terrorists.

It is interesting to note that Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson (both drafters and signers of the Declaration of Independence; Jefferson was our third President) both said that any people who give up their rights for a little temporary security deserve neither.

We here at Trichter & LeGrand agree with our Founders. 

A right once wrongly lost to the government is usually lost forever. 

Moreover, there are other successful ways a limited government can act to suppress terrorists without attacking the rights of its own citizens.

This data mining effects all DWI defendants and their lawyers. 

It does so by the seizure and storage of all email between the attorney and the client. 

These communications have always been secret so as to not chill the free flow of information between the client and lawyer and vice versa. 

A client might not tell his lawyer information that could help prove innocence for fear of the government or some hacker leaking it in the future.

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Attorneys on-call 24/7. Form Submissions have a fast response time. The use of this form does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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15 simple Changes that will make America American

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15 SIMPLE CHANGES THAT WILL MAKE AMERICA AMERICAN

Trichter & LeGrand Law Firm In Houston Texas

AMENDING THE CONSTITUTION TO PROTECT OURSELVES FROM CONGRESS

Our Founding Fathers were really geniuses and very much afraid of BIG Government. 

That fear compelled their creation of many checks and balances to be built into the Constitution to protect us from the Government. 

Article V is one of those checks and provides two ways of amending the Constitution.

The first method allows Congress to initiate the amendment process by having two-thirds of both houses agree on an amendment. 

Once done, the proposal is then submitted to the States for ratification. 

When three-quarters of the States (38 of 50) approve the proposal, it automatically becomes the law of the land. 

In terms of passing an amendment that would curtail Congress’ self interest in protecting its power and benefits, the Founders realized that asking the House and Senate to do so was akin to asking the wolf to guard a herd of sheep.

Understanding that wolf hunger, human nature and the reality that Congress would try to protect itself and its power, the Founders established a safety valve amendment process. 

This second way excludes Congress from the initiation process. 

Here, this second method allows two-thirds of the States to demand that Congress call an Article V convention. 

Once done, either State Legislatures or State Delegates vote on amendments. Where three-fourths of the States (38 of 50) agree on an amendment, it becomes the law of the land. 

The law goes into effect when the 38th State ratifies it. 

No Congressional, presidential or Judicial signature or order is needed for it to take effect.

With the above in mind, we here at T & M suggest the following 15 Simple Changes that will make America American!

1 . Term Limits: no President, Senator or representative shall be elected to more than 2 terms for that office.

2. Congress’ Pay and Sequester: no member of Congress shall escape the same pay decrease when others within the government are suffering a pay cut.

3. Congress’ Benefits: no member of Congress shall have any greater health insurance coverage than any comparable and regular federal employee.

4. The Rights reserved by the Amendments are to be preserved and not violated. If a Right has been violated, there will NOT be any circumstances that excuse the violation. No evidence obtained by violating a person’s constitutional rights is admissible in any criminal or civil trail.

5. No person shall be compelled to give any type of evidence against themselves, absent judicial authorization, based on a sworn affidavit establishing proof by preponderance.

6. No person shall be denied assistance of counsel when detained by a law enforcement representative.

7. All persons shall be annually taxed at a flat rate of 10% of their income.

8. All persons receiving welfare, absent a medical waiver, must work through a Work Project’s Administration in order to continue receiving assistance.

9. All  persons, at age 18, are to serve in the armed services, for a minimum  period of 4 years.

10. The Government is prohibited from annually spending more money then it is budgeted to receive.

11.  Federal judges do not serve for life. A judge can serve for one 12 year term on each level appointed.

12. Veterans health care  and benefits shall be at least the same as that received by Congress.

13. Only persons, under the age of 65 and who pay their required income taxes, can vote. All military, past and present, can vote.

14. All congressional representatives cannot raise $ for campaigning. Every person wanting to run for office must obtain a certain % of supporting signatures from the population where they reside. Once a candidate obtains the requisite number of signatures, they will receive federal campaign funds. No private funds can be spent and  all candidates can only spend the same amount.

15. All of Congress and the President shall take this new oath office:

I , _____________, swear that I have read and fully understand the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution. As a representative of the People, I promise to uphold and defend the Unalienable Rights of the People and the Constitution of the United States. Moreover, I swear and promise that I will always chose the needs of the People over the wants of a political party.

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Attorneys on-call 24/7. Form Submissions have a fast response time. The use of this form does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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What is the definition of an American Citizen?

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WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF AN AMERICAN CITIZEN?

Trichter & LeGrand DWI Lawyers

Interestingly, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on 9/11/133, 9/11’s 12th anniversary, gave approval to a definition that describes the characteristics of the American Citizen. 

In a case styled State of Texas v. Christopher James Wade, where nervousness and a refusal to cooperate were deemed insufficient facts to justify a detention or frisk, the CCA  said:

“Who, then, is the American ‘reasonable person’ when it comes to police interactions? 

A review of the case law above provides some characteristics. 

He is someone who knows his rights and feels free to exercise them. 

He is not intimidated by the police, whether they are alone or in a group, in uniform or in plain clothes. 

He knows that when questioned, he can refuse to answer, and when asked for identification, he can decline to comply. 

He always feels free to end the encounter even if physically constrained by his surroundings and even if the police persist in their attempts to engage him in conversation. 

He rests secure in the knowledge that no physical harm will result and that the police cannot legally draw an inference of criminality from his refusal to cooperate. 

In short, he regards an encounter with police as no different from one with a panhandler on the street, a religious proselytizer at his doorstep, or a Hare Krishna in the airport.”

Well, now we know the approved Texas judicial definition of who we are as Americans. 

To me, the CCA could have shortened the description to say ” people who act like John Wayne and Clint Eastwood”.  

I wonder if anyone will now tell the police who we Americans are? 

What do you think?

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Attorneys on-call 24/7. Form Submissions have a fast response time. The use of this form does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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