Ham Investigations provides DUI Consultation and DUI Investigation services to attorneys and private citizens across Tennessee as well as nationally. Our goal is to utilize our superior training and experience to assist clients in understanding ALL the facts of their DUI case. Ham Investigations DUI Investigators and DUI Consultantshave have been trained to administer and evaluate the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST's) as set forth by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This is the same training standard all police agencies across the country are trained in for DUI detection, testing and evaluation. NHTSA has three Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST's) that are utilized by officers to evaluate a driver suspected of being impaired. These tests were designed to be administered in a very specific manner and sequence as well as being graded in a certain way. Our DUI Investigators and DUI Consultants look for these specifics and point out where they are missing or misinterpreted. The three Standardized Field Sobriety Tests per NHTSA are:
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test - Nystagmus is defined as the involuntary jerking of the eye. This can and does occur naturally in some people but is generally utilized by officers as an indication a motorist is impaired. The test is performed by having a suspected driver to follow a pen or other stimulus with their eyes only and while not moving their head. The officer observes the individuals eyes looking for the involuntary jerking of the eye along with other specific indicators.
Walk and Turn Test - An officer instructs the Walk and Turn test by placing an individual in a specific position during the "Instruction Phase". While giving the instructions, the officer has already begun gathering information to determine whether the subject is impaired. The officer then instructs the individual to take nine "heel to toe" steps along a straight line (actual or imaginary), complete a specifically instructed turn and return along the line nine "heel to toe" steps. During the individual's performance, the officer is looking for several indicators as they grade the performance of the test subject and their ability to follow detailed instructions.
One Leg Stand Test - During this test, an officer will instruct the motorist to stand on one leg while lifting the other leg approximately six inches off the ground and counting out loud until told to stop by the officer. The officer gives the individual several instructions which the officer then looks for during the subject's performance along with several other clues.
In addition to these Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST's), there are other Non-Standardized tests officers may administer. These tests may include the Finger to Nose test, counting backwards, Alphabet test, Finger Count test or other Non-Standardized tests as set forth by NHTSA. Officers across Tennessee and the country have been given advanced training in other specialized areas of DUI detection as it relates to drivers under the influence of drugs. This course is known as Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE).
Our DUI Investigators and DUI Consultants at Ham Investigations have successfully completed the same Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) course recognized by NHTSA and taught to officers across the country. The Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) course was developed by NHTSA with input from the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). This course is utilized by law enforcement to be the next step in DUI and Drugged Driving intervention as it focuses on the signs of impairment by drugs AND alcohol. This course was intended to elevate officers' training and become the intermediate training between the SFST's and the Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) course. With ARIDE training comes new "tests" that officers will often administer to motorists suspected of "drugged" driving or being under the influence of a combination of drugs and alcohol.
The Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) course is recognized by NHTSA and is taught to officers by instructors certified by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). The officers with this training and certification are considered nationally to be the top 1% of DUI and Driving while drugged evaluators. Certification as a DRE officer has been restricted to active law enforcement only. Mr. Ham and his staff have successfully completed the 24 hour overview course of the same Drug Recognition Expert that is taught to officers in Tennessee and across the country.
Ham Investigations DUI Investigators and DUI Consultants utilize their training along with years of experience in the field to evaluate each aspect of a client's case. Our team of professionals obtain and review all documentation related to a case. Reports are scrutinized for information and errors that is then utilized in a client's defense. In addition to this review, our team receives and evaluates the officer's video and any 911 or dispatch communications. Each aspect of the video is evaluated from the reason for stop to the instruction and performance of each SFST and Non-Standardized test. Our team then responds to the scene where Sobriety Tests were administered and evaluates the environmental conditions to establish if the area was a suitable location for the tests to be given. All this information along with any witness statements or observations are collected and put into a comprehensive report. This report outlines the reason for stop, our clients performance on tests as outlined by NHTSA guidelines, the officer's demeanor, the officer's ability to properly instruct the SFST's along with any measurements and photographs taken at the scene. Occasionally, photographs are taken of a client's clothing and footwear should these items become related to the results of a test. Weather history can also be gathered from the date of incident showing the weather conditions for the area of the stop.
This comprehensive review of ALL aspects of a client's case is what sets Ham Investigations apart. We provide the information a client or their attorney needs to successfully defend their case.