Canton City Councilman Nick Estes was arrested in the early morning hours of May 14 on charges of driving under the influence and failure to maintain lane in Cherokee County. Estes, a part owner of a Canton craft beer and wine shop, is serving his first term.
According to reports, a Canton policeman observed Estes weaving in and out of lanes around 1 a.m. The officer pulled Estes over and asked him to do a series of field sobriety tests. Estes attorney has asked the judge to suppress the charges, claiming that Estes was illegally detained and never voluntarily consented to the tests.
Estes was released on bond from the Cherokee County Jail on the day of his arrest. His arraignment was yesterday, June 6, but no new information about the charge has been released.
In today's post, I will outline DUI sobriety testing in Cherokee County.
DUI Sobriety Testing in Cherokee County
As a Cherokee County DUI Attorney, I know that what happened to Councilman Estes is not an uncommon occurrence. When individuals are pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence in Woodstock and other areas in Cherokee County, they are often asked to take field sobriety tests. The results of these tests are regularly used in the courtroom as further evidence of your intoxication. While it may seem like you have to comply with everything a police officer asks of you, it is important to remember that by law, you are not required to submit to any field sobriety test, and you may decline without any legal penalties. The same is not true, however, for blood, breath, and urine testing, refusal of which can have repercussions.
Field sobriety testing is far from a perfect science. Even when the testing is administered correctly, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration determined that the test only has a 77% accuracy rating. Because many factors can affect the accuracy of the results, this means that they can often be challenged in court. Some of these factors may be that the driver simply has poor balance, is extremely anxious or stressed, is sick, aged, or had a hard time understanding what the police officer was asking them to do. While police officers administering these tests are supposed to be carefully trained on the correct administration of field sobriety testing, some officers still lack this training and consistently make fundamental errors. As such, questioning an officer on the procedure of field sobriety testing can be an important step in challenging the evidence.
If you have been arrested and charged with DUI in Cherokee County and field sobriety testing was included in the process, it is vital that you contact a Cherokee County DUI Lawyer as soon as possible.
At the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson, the legal team is exceptionally qualified to challenge field sobriety testing results in court. As a trained instructor for field sobriety tests, Attorney Richard Lawson could be able to challenge any part of the testing that was improperly administered.