Concerns about DWI Testing for Mobility Impaired

Kurtz Blum, PLLC | Raleigh Criminal LawyersThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) is a set of tests administered and evaluated in a standardized manner by authorities to confirm impairment and establish probable cause for arrest. The SFSTs consists of three tests, namely: the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN), Walk-and-Turn (WAT), and the One-Leg Stand (OLS).

Unfortunately for the mobility impaired, two of these tests do not apply. As such, police authorities must often rely on HGN and their own observations when arresting a mobility-impaired individual suspected of DWI. A more disabled-friendly sobriety field test was recently developed for drivers with disability.

The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators’ SFST is composed of four tests including the HGN, the finger-to-nose test, the palm pat test, and the hand coordination test. The problem with the NASBLA tests is that there has been no study to confirm their validity. So when a police officer conducts a NASBLA SFST on a mobility-impaired driver, the officer is making the person go through a testing system without any scientific support of its efficacy or accuracy.

If you are a mobility-impaired driver who’s being charged with DWI, seek representation from an experienced DWI attorney immediately. With your attorney’s help, you may be able to claim mistakes in testing procedures and eventually have your case dismissed.


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