Police investigating a suspected DUI / DWI driver often require the motorist to complete a field sobriety test. One test employed by police is the ABC test. The officer typically uses the results to create probable cause for a drinking and driving arrest and to gather evidence for a drunk driving court case. It’s imperative for any driver subjected to the ABC test or any other field sobriety test to consult with a California attorney who specializes in DUI / DWI defense.
During the ABC test, the officer instructs the driver to recite or write the alphabet while standing with his or her feet together and arms down. During the test, the officer watches the driver for signs of intoxication, including starting the test too soon, an inability to follow directions, slurred speech, or an inability to write or recite the alphabet correctly.
Perhaps police reason that everyone knows the ABCs, but the truth is that anyone would be nervous or worried after being forced from a car along a busy street or highway – it’s easy to make a mistake. The ABC test isn’t even really a test, because the driver is doomed to fail regardless of mental or physical condition.
The ABC test is such an unreliable indicator of mental and physical impairment that it isn’t even recognized as a standardized field sobriety test by the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration (NHSTA). Because the ABC test isn’t recognized by the NHSTA, it carries less weight in court than standardized field sobriety tests, and an experienced DUI attorney can demonstrate that the results could just as easily show that the driver was not impaired.
Ultimately, the results of field sobriety tests can be challenged in court. The best way to fight a California drunk driving charge is with the help of a lawyer experienced in defending DUI / DWI charges.