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Field Sobriety Tests

Contra Costa DUI Lawyer

Field sobriety tests provide a way for police officers to gauge a suspected drunk driver’s level impairment. These tests, which are usually conducted on the side of the road, measure drivers’ physical and mental coordination and ability by challenging their balance, alertness, agility, attention, and coordination.

While the driver is performing these tests, the officer will carefully take note of his/her control of the body and ability to follow directions. By the end of the testing, the officer will have a good idea as to whether or not the driver is too intoxicated to be operating a vehicle. If the officer resolves that the driver is too impaired to drive, then he/she can arrest the driver for DUI.

Although there are numerous tests an officer can conduct, the following field sobriety tests are the most commonly used by police officers in Contra Costa:

One Leg Test: The driver starts with his/her feet together, arms at the side. The officer will then instruct the driver to count out loud and simultaneously raise one leg six inches off the ground. The officer will be looking to see if the driver loses balance or has difficulty following directions.

Walk and Turn Test: The driver is instructed to walk in a straight, taking nine heel-to-toe steps. After taking nine steps, he or she then turns around and repeats the same action. If the driver loses balance, does not follow directions, or cannot walk in a straight line, then the officer will take it as a sign of inebriation.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus: The officer holds a small object, such as a pen, several inches from the drivers face. The driver is then instructed to follow the object’s line of motion. If the driver cannot follow the object with his/her eyes, or if his/her eyes begin to twitch, then it indicates a sign of intoxication. However, Nystagmus is a medical condition that can appear in people, regardless of whether or not they have been consuming alcohol.

What Should I Do if I Fail the Tests?

If you failed a field sobriety test it’s important to contact an experienced Contra Costa DUI attorney as soon as possible. These tests are subjective, prone to inaccuracies, scientifically unreliable, and designed for failure. In fact, even people who are not drunk could have difficulty passing these tests, as there are a number of factors and conditions that could hinder an individual’s ability to successfully pass the test.

In addition, field sobriety tests are NOT MANDATORY in California, yet many police officers make drivers perform one or more test. This is because they know these tests are designed for failure, and that they can use the results of the test as evidence against the driver in court.

Contact Contra Costa DUI Attorney Robert Tayac

Do not let an officer of the law take advantage of you by using biased and unjust evidence against you. When you hire Contra Costa DUI lawyer Robert Tayac, you can rest assured that someone will be on your side looking out for you and protecting your best interest. Mr. Tayac knows how to challenge the accuracy of a field sobriety test, and argue against the admissibility of the test as evidence in court.

Furthermore, Mr. Tayac works relentlessly to ensure the officer had just cause to arrest you, and that he/she conducted the field sobriety tests lawfully and ethically. Whenever Mr. Tayac steps into the courtroom, his main concern is making sure your rights are protected at all times, and that you are not unjustly or unfairly convicted of driving under the influence.

To schedule a consultation with Contra Costa DUI lawyer attorney Robert Tayac, please call 925-288-9800.

Why Choose Our Firm?

Attorney Robert Tayac Puts a Long, Decorated Career to Work for You
  • Puts Over 20 Years of Experience Toward Your Case

  • Specialized Education in DUI Defense

  • Has Trained Other Attorneys in San Francisco

  • Former San Francisco Police Officer & Police Inspector

  • Certified by the SFPD on the Intoxilyzer 5000 Testing Device

  • Co-Authored the 4th Edition of California Drunk Driving Defense

  • Boasts a Successful Record Achieving the Best Result for His Clients

  • Takes the Time to Understand You & Your Case

Client Testimonials

  • “Without Mr Tayac's knowledge and drive to succeed, I most likely would not be able to write this review today.”


  • “His in depth knowledge and expertise within his field, along with deep and lasting relationships with the District Attorneys office and everyone involved are without a doubt unmatched.”


  • “These clients have called me to thank me for referring them to the Law offices of Robert Tayac.”

    R.R., Attorney at Law

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