Field sobriety tests used in Kansas City DWI

Written by: Christopher Yotz 

            If you are arrested for Driving While Intoxicated in Kansas City, Missouri the officer likely asked you to take part in some field tests. The police use these tests to try and show that there was probable cause to arrest you for DWI. Unless you have received training in how these tests are conducted and graded you may not know how you did on these tests.

            The first test is called the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test (HGN). During this test the officer will pass some sort of object, often his finger or a pen, across your field of vision asking you to keep your head still and follow the object only with your eyes. The officer is looking for an unconscious twitching of your eye at certain positions. In this test as with all of these tests, there may be issues with how the test is conducted and how the test is graded.

            The next test is called the Walk and Turn test. During this test the officer has you walk a straight line while concentrating on seemingly obscure performance requirements. This is a divided attention test. The officer is grading you on balance and your mental retention and completion of the requirements of the test. There may be issues with the officer’s instructions on the test as well as other factors besides just the grading on the test.

            The third test typically given prior to a DWI arrest in Missouri is the One Leg Stand test. The officer will instruct you to lift one leg and complete a couple of additional requirements while keeping that leg lifted. Here again, the officer is grading you on balance and your ability to mentally retain and complete the extra requirements.

            If these tests are not completed properly then the state may have issues prosecuting the case against you for DWI and for the license suspension. However, if your attorney is not trained in how these tests are conducted then you may not be able to prevent the use of these tests. Attorney Chris Yotz is trained and certified in these tests with the same certification level as the police officers who are giving you the test. In addition he has successfully prevented the use of improperly performed and graded tests for his client’s in the past. You should look for and hire a qualified DWI defense attorney to help protect your rights. Contact Chris Yotz to help defend your rights.