If you are ever pulled over for a DUI check in South Carolina, you may need to take a field sobriety test. There are many kinds of sobriety tests officers can use during DUI traffic stops. However, the most common tests are the one-leg stand, HGN (Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus), and walk-and-turn tests. You do not need to be intoxicated to fail a sobriety test. Failing these tests do not necessarily mean you are going to end up with a DUI conviction. There are other factors the courts use to determine guilt in a DUI case besides field sobriety test results.
Learn the factors that can cause you to fail a sobriety test so you can take measures to protect your rights.
Nervousness and anxiety
If this was your first time dealing with this type of situation, your nervousness could have gotten the best of you. Nervousness and anxiety can cause you to perform poorly enough to flunk field sobriety tests.
Physical and medical issues
Some medications can cause you to have trouble maintaining your balance, appear drowsy and intoxicated, and make it hard for you to understand the officer and be understood. There are also physical conditions, such as a bad back or knees, that can prevent you from walking a straight line and performing the one-leg stand portions of a field sobriety test. Fatigue can also keep you from fully understanding what the officer wants you to do and interfere with your ability to follow his or her instructions correctly.
Improper test administration
Law enforcement personnel are trained to administer these tests properly, but many of them do not. Some officers may neglect to include the correct testing conditions, explain what they want you to do and not administer the full test.
The results of your field sobriety tests are evidence in your case. Successfully defending yourself against a DUI charge can be challenging and is entirely dependent on your circumstances. You may want to speak to an attorney for guidance so you can develop a better understanding of your situation.