I read that officers are certified to perform FST's, i wanted to know by who and how long is the certification good for? Can I attack the officer's creditability for properly conducting FST's in court if this certification is expired?
Most police officers in California are POST-certified. There may be some very small rural jurisdictions where this is not the case, but all of the large urban departments and most of the rest all require it. Only departments requiring POST certification qualify for federal grant funds and those are critical to most jurisdictions.
California does not require "certification" of a police officer to perfomr SFST's or FST's. Some states do have such a requirement. Still, an experienced DUI defense attorney who is schooled in the SFST protocol as established by NHTSA will be able to poke holes in the officers reporting of the performance of these so called sobriety tests. Also it is important to note that the CHP DUI enforcement manual is largely a duplicate of the SFST student manual. It is very easy to trap a CHP officer into admitting that s/he failed to follow the CHP requirements.
Most police officers are trained on how to administer the field sobriety tests that were promulgated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). NHTSA produced a series of standardized tests to be employed by law enforcement for the detection and prosecution of impaired drivers. The scientific reliability of the tests as indicia of impairment require that the officers administer the test in strict accordance wirh NHTSA guidelines. Failure to do so can invalidate (through effective and rigorous cross examination) the results. As far as being "certified" there is no requirement other than successully graduating the academy where the NHTSA procedures were taught.
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