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Fort Wayne DUI Lawyer

Contact Our Fort Wayne OWI Attorney Today at (888) 912-7220!

Drunk driving (known as Operating While Intoxicated in Indiana) can result in serious penalties including losing your driver’s license, paying hefty fines and serving jail time. The “evidence” that can result in a conviction, however, isn’t always accurate.

People can drive poorly for other reasons besides being drunk (such as being sleep deprived or using technological devices while driving). Breath test machines can have flaws. People can perform poorly on field sobriety tests for other reasons besides being intoxicated (such as age, physical condition, poor lighting or surface, and weather conditions).

Want to discuss your case with us? Contact us at (888) 912-7220 for your complimentary case evaluation.

Information About Field Sobriety Tests in Indiana

In order for a law enforcement officer to make a DUI arrest in Indiana, they need to establish “probable cause,” or a confirmed suspicion that a crime (driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol) has been committed. To do this, they use field sobriety tests.

Field sobriety tests come in many different forms, however they’re usually designed to test your ability to handle both mental and physical tasks simultaneously. While this might be difficult for most people do while completely sober, they’re downright impossible to do while drunk, when the brain’s ability to do multiple things at once is inhibited.

However, because these tests can turn up so many false positives, it’s imperative that they are properly administered, and even with immense training and practice, law enforcement still make mistakes that lead to false arrests. Thus, the NHTSA has standardized procedures for three fairly-reliable field sobriety tests to make them as accurate as possible: the one leg-stand, the walk-and-turn, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.

One-Leg Stand Test

This test involves the subject standing on one leg, lifting the other, pointing their toes outward, and then performing some sort of mental task, such as counting backwards from 30. The intent is to mix a fairly difficult physical test with a task that requires someone to think. Those who are drunk could struggle to keep their balance or will mess up on the mental task pretty seriously, indicating intoxication.

Walk-and-Turn Test

In this test, the officer will ask the suspected individual to walk heel-to-toe in a straight line for an exact number of steps, kind of like you’re on a balance beam. Once they’ve done that, the officer will instruct them to turn on the spot without lifting their feet, and then immediately walk back the same number of steps. This requires careful focus on listening to instructions along with a somewhat difficult physical test that also has a balance aspect to it. Balance usually disappears quickly when intoxicated.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus

The horizontal gaze nystagmus test is perhaps the hardest to fool in that it has a physical task that’s nearly impossible for even the savviest of drinkers to know how to overcome. The officer simply holds up an object, like a pen, small light, or even their finger, and moves it from side to side at the individual’s eye level. The individual must follow the light without moving their head. Those who are intoxicated can’t control the muscles that move their eyes as well, resulting in flickering or twitching motions, known as nystagmus.

Our Fort Wayne DUI/OWI Defense Lawyers Can Help

When it comes to defending your rights in an OWI case, it is important to retain a strong and experienced Fort Wayne DUI attorney. At Arnold Terrill, P.C., we can analyze your case for lack of probable cause, fault in the breath test procedure or breathalyzer, and false results. Our team works to gather favorable evidence on your behalf. If we are able to find a fault in the prosecutor’s case – such as evidence secured in an improper manner – we will work to have it deemed inadmissible. Our ultimate goal is to help you achieve a favorable outcome.

It is possible that you qualify for AADP (an alcohol deterrent for Fort Wayne and Allen County residents). The Restoration Court Program takes a holistic approach to treatment and deterrence. When individuals are charged and not convicted, court proceedings can be deferred. If you are convicted, you may be able to enter the program as a condition of probation. Completion of the program can be favorable to your case.

With over 50 combined years of legal experience, you can count on us to represent you effectively. For more information about DUI charges in Indiana and how our team at Arnold Terrill, P.C. can help you, contact our office today for a free consultation!

Contact a Fort Wayne DUI lawyer today at (888) 912-7220!

Reasons to Work With Arnold Terrill, P.C.

  • Over 45 Years of Combined Legal Experience
  • We Offer Free Consultations and Are Available 24/7
  • Vigorous defense regardless of the severity of the charge
  • We have built a reputation for being able to succeed for our clients in even the most complex cases