There are a number of reasons why the sobriety tests you take during a traffic stop might be wrong. For that reason, it’s important never to admit that you’ve been drinking or that you’re drunk. Although the tests may be accurate in most cases, they aren’t always, and you deserve a chance to defend yourself against the findings.
Sobriety tests come in three primary forms. There are breath tests, blood tests and field sobriety tests. Occasionally, urine samples are also used. For most people, a simple breath test is given alongside the field sobriety testing during the stop.
Field sobriety tests don’t indicate drunkenness
Realize that field sobriety tests don’t prove that you’re intoxicated. Instead, they prove that you’re unbalanced, perhaps tired or otherwise unable to complete the test as designed. There are medical reasons that explain why some people can’t pass these tests, like suffering from vertigo, which makes it hard to walk in a straight line. Neurological conditions may make it hard to follow an officer’s flashlight or finger, to touch your nose or to perform other tasks as requested.
How are breath tests possibly inaccurate?
Breath tests can be inaccurate for a few reasons. For example, if you burp during the test, it’s likely that more alcohol will be released during the test than you actually have in your system. That creates a higher reading than you’d normally have, potentially resulting in your failing the test. If you burp during the test, the officer needs to give it to you a second time and ignore the first reading.
Another thing to consider is that the breath test might not be calibrated correctly. If you are given two tests that are different by .02 percent or more, the breath test may not be reading your blood alcohol content accurately.
Finally, you have to remember that officers have to be trained to use these devices. If they are not trained, have not maintained the device or give you the test inaccurately, then the readings may not be accurate. If that’s the case, then the evidence accusing you of being intoxicated should be thrown out and not used in court.
Working with your attorney to determine if the evidence is fair or faulty is an important part of your defense. These tests can be accurate, but there is also a high risk that they have been given erroneously or that the results were not correct.