Is There an Age Limit to a Field Sobriety Test?
In Nevada, you are not required by law to complete a field sobriety test. Therefore, many DUI stops are subjective, and they are not always accurate. However, at Nobles & Yanez, we are experienced criminal defense attorneys in Las Vegas that can help if you get stopped for a DUI in Las Vegas, Summerlin, Henderson, North Las Vegas, and Green Valley. Learn more about the types of field sobriety tests and limitations below and how our experienced criminal defense attorneys can help you.
The Three Main Types of Field Sobriety Tests in Nevada
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN)- This test checks for involuntary movement of the eyes by tracking a pen or finger from one side to the other. The police officer is looking for difficulty tracking the item since it could be a sign of impairment. There are different indicators that the officer is looking for: rigid tracking of the item, jerking from the eyes, or jerking that occurs before 45 degrees of center. A failure does not always imply impairment because the test from the officer could have been done incorrectly.
- Walk-and-Turn (WAT)– The WAT tests your ability to follow commands and perform physical functions. You will be tasked with taking heel-to-toe steps in a straight line then returning to your starting point smoothly and distinctly. The officer will be looking for several signs of impairment through the exam. Those impairment signs include: struggling to keep balance, not following the directions, trying to regain balance, failing to touch your heels to toes, walking off of the line, using arms to balance the body, and making a poor or jagged turn on the return. There is alleged intoxication with two or more failed indicators. However, several factors could affect the validity of the test, including lighting, walking surface, and physical conditions. Also, age limitations can affect the ability to perform the test accurately. People over age 65 could have problems with certain parts of their bodies, and the test becomes inaccurate. It is not recommended for people in this age group, and you should contact a lawyer if you failed a WAT test over 65.
- One Leg Stand (OLS)– This test is similar to the WAT in that it tests physical ability and following directions. You will be asked to raise one foot slightly off the ground and count aloud for about 30 seconds. The officer will be looking for different indicators of impairment that include: swaying back and forth, holding the arms out for balance, hopping, or putting the foot down before the test is concluded. However, similar to the WAT tests, several factors could affect the validity of the test. For example, age or different environmental factors could skew the results for a failed test from someone who is not impaired.
Nobles & Yanez can Help You with a DUI
If you believe you have been wrongly charged with a DUI in Las Vegas, Summerlin, Henderson, North Las Vegas, or Green Valley, our experienced criminal defense team at Nobles & Yanez can help. Our lawyers are the experts with it comes to DUI laws and your rights. DUI cases are not only complex, but they often have deadlines that need to be met. Without a lawyer, you run the risk of severe consequences. They include jail time, losing your license, or getting fired from your job. It can be challenging to win a DUI case if you represent yourself. A lack of legal knowledge makes it easier for the Prosecutor to convict you of a crime. We are an experienced criminal defense team that specializes in handling challenging cases. To get help with your DUI case, contact the professionals from Nobles & Yanez.