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Yes, you could fail a field sobriety test when sober

On Behalf of | Aug 19, 2020 | Blood Alcohol Tests

You may be surprised to hear this, but did you know that it’s relatively common for sober drivers to fail field sobriety tests? If you’re one of them, then you may want to know why that happens and how to defend yourself.

Any time you’re stopped on suspicion of a DWI or DUI, it’s important that you know your options. If you can avoid taking a field sobriety test, that’s preferable, because even a sober individual can fail them. Why? There are neurological problems, medical conditions and physical issues that may result in your failing the test.

When the police pull you over, they have a right to ask you to take a Breathalyzer test. This is a test that shows if you are impaired by alcohol. This test doesn’t pick up drug use. For that reason, many officers will ask you to complete field sobriety tests.

The tests you may be asked to complete include the walk-and-turn test, the horizontal gaze nystagmus test and the one-leg stand. When combined, failing all three tests gives a high indication that the individual is impaired. However, these tests aren’t foolproof.

Are field sobriety tests subjective?

Yes, field sobriety tests are subjective, which is the reason why you should fight the results if you do not pass. The grading of each test is subjective, and research has even shown that those who grade the test and review the same test may disagree on the score. Essentially, you could pass the test when you are stopped by one officer, but you could fail with another.

If tests aren’t accurate, why are they given?

When given in combination, these tests are generally accurate. However, there is no way to account for medical conditions or other factors. If you are falsely arrested because of failing a field sobriety test, it’s worth your time to fight the charges. The last thing you want is to allow the officer to arrest you and to end up with a DUI charge when you aren’t guilty of driving while intoxicated. Your attorney can help you fight against the charges and prove that you are innocent.

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