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Is there any way to challenge field sobriety tests?

When you've been arrested for a DUI, you may wonder if there is any way to contest the results of a field sobriety test. This may be the way to go if you refuse the chemical tests for alcohol, as the FSTs could be the primary evidence against you.

Here are the ways that you potentially could challenge a FST:

-- The officer didn't consider your mental or physical condition. Such a condition can skew the test results in many cases. Some of these conditions include inner ear infections, neurological injuries, movement or skeletal disorders.

-- The tests were not performed as they should have been. There are guidelines set up by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The officer is supposed to execute the tests correctly in accordance with these tests. In some states, only the tests that the NHTSA has listed as standardized may be used, which include the one-leg stand, the walk and turn and the horizontal gaze nystagmus.

-- Flaws in the FSTs. The three tests mentioned above can be challenged in court. Some studies have shown that even when a subject performs these tests properly, they are only between 81 percent and 91 percent reliable in determining whether someone is intoxicated.

There are many defenses that someone can use when facing a DUI case. It can run the gamut from the reason for the car stop, to the results of the FSTs, to the Breathalyzer results and more. An attorney who is experienced in defending against DUI cases can provide more information on what is needed for a strong defense.

Source: FindLaw, "3 Ways to Challenge Field Sobriety Tests," Brett Snider, accessed Aug. 05, 2016

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