Salem DUI Attorney Gig Wyatt


Field Sobriety Test
DUI Case Studies

Sobriety Test

 Not Guilty in Oregon DUII Defense Case
Jury reaches decision in 30 minutes. 

A Washington County jury finds the defendant Not Guilty of Driving Under the Influence on February 24, 2015.

The defendant was arrested outside of a popular nightclub at 3:30 a.m.  The nightclub bouncer testified that he had observed the defendant inside the club earlier in the evening, showing signs of intoxication.  After “last call,” the defendant went to his truck and began doing “burn outs” in the club parking lot.  Security from the club quickly approached defendant, handcuffed him, and called the police.  The Tigard Police Department arrived and conducted a DUII investigation.  Defendant ultimately failed the field sobriety tests and took a breath test which was over .08% BAC.

At trial, defendant was represented by attorney Byron Farley.  Mr. Farley drew the jury’s attention to the lack of reliable evidence regarding movement of the vehicle and defendant’s intoxication.  Mr. Farley emphasized the potential bias of the security officer and pointed to the inconsistencies from the various witnesses.  Mr. Farley’s theme of “inconsistent testimony and unreliable evidence” seemed to resonate with the jury, which acquitted defendant of all charges after just 30 minutes of deliberations. 

 

There are only 3 "standardized" field sobriety tests that are commonly given by law enforcement in Oregon. These are the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, Walk and Turn, and 1 Leg Stand.


Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, or HGN as it is commonly called, is considered by law enforcement to be the most reliable. The officer is trained to look for nystagmus (an involuntary jerking of the eye) in each eye when the person follows a stimulus (usually a pen) out to their peripheral vision. If observed, the officer says they have a "clue." The officer then looks for nystagmus at maximum deviation (eyes looking all the way to the side) and also for nystagmus prior to 45 degrees.

Walk and Turn
Also known as the Heel to Toe test. The officer requests the subject walk 9 steps out, make a specific turn and walk 9 steps back.
There are 8 clues on this test, and if you have 2 clues, you are deemed to have failed the test. In other words, if you start before the officer says "begin" and you dont touch your heel to your toe on a step, the officer will report that you have failed the test.

One Leg Stand
During this test, the subject is asked to stand on one leg for 30 seconds. There are 4 clues possible, 2 being a failure.
 
Remember, performing the FST's is voluntary. You have the right to say "No." 

If you or someone you know has just been arrested for a possible DUI charge then it is important that you have legal representation to defend your rights as soon as possible. Information about the Field Sobriety Test is provided here only for educational purposes related to DUII laws in Oregon.  This information should not be interpreted as legal advice, nor substituted for the specific legal advice of an experienced attorney.

Phone- 503 - 378-7744


Gig Wyatt , Attorney at Law, Harris, Wyatt & Amala, LLC , 5778 Commercial Street SE , Salem OR  97306
(503) 378-7744, (503) 378-1013 Fax

NOTICE: The purpose of this website is to provide basic and general information about DUII laws in Oregon. 
This publication should not be interpreted as legal advice, nor substituted for the specific legal advice of an experienced attorney.
Copyright 2008 - Harris, Wyatt, & Amala LLC