Forsyth County DUI: Field Sobriety Tests

Question: I was stopped and arrested for DUI in Forsyth County, Georgia. I was driving home to my house in Cumming when a Forsyth cop pulled me over. My wife was in the car and we were coming back from dinner. We ate at a place at Vickery Village and made a stop at Norman's Landing, and I did have a few drinks with dinner. At dinner and at Norman's I just drank a beer or two and a couple of glasses of red wine. I really don't think I was drunk driving. I was maybe a little buzzed.

The police officer said I was speeding and he said I crossed into another lane. I actually got an important phone call for work and that's why I went into the other lane for a second or two.

My question is about the field sobriety tests. I had surgery on my back 3 weeks ago and I'm not yet back to normal. I've had a bad back for a number of years from the Army and I finally decided to get the surgery done here at a Forsyth hospital (Northside Hospital) to correct things. So needless to say I didn't do well on some of the field sobriety testing. The Forsyth deputy must have thought I was really drunk. But it was just from a bad back, not booze. I fell over when I did some of the tests.

What should I do? How can I not have the field sobriety tests hurt my case?

Answer: You need to introduce evidence of your back surgery. That can be done through hospital records and/or having your doctor testify about your condition. He can testify regarding the back surgery and the recovery time involved and that you would not be capable of performing certain physical exercises while you are still in recovery.

Field sobriety testing is done by law enforcement officials to help determine if someone is driving under the influence. Developed and approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the field sobriety tests must be administered correctly by the police to be valid. If a suspect is recovering from back surgery, that would certainly negate significant parts of the tests.

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