Can a bad field sobriety test help me beat my DUI charges?

| Mar 30, 2021 | Criminal defense, DUI

Fighting a DUI can be a difficult challenge. Even a first offense can result in criminal charges and license suspension, which is why it is so important to fight any DUI charges. Building a defense against these charges may be difficult, but the field sobriety test that the police conducted may become an advantage for you in your defense.

How a sobriety test can help you

When the police conduct a traffic stop, any mistake they make during the stop and following arrests can invalidate any subsequent charges. Experienced criminal defense attorneys evaluate any arrest footage to look for a mistake that may be enough for you to defend against your charges successfully.

During a field sobriety test, officers commonly rely on three different standardized tests. The problem with these tests is that they do not account for individual difficulties, such as weight, age, or neurological conditions. The tests that officers use include:

  • Eye test – where a police officer will ask a driver to track an object’s movement with only their eyes. If the driver has various head or eye conditions, this test’s results may not be accurate.
  • Walk and turn test – the officer has the driver take nine steps in a heel-to-toe fashion in a straight line, turn around, and take another nine heel-to-toe steps. Elderly or overweight individuals may experience difficulty performing this test even when sober, and police officers may mistake a false start or other unrelated error as a sign of intoxication.
  • One leg stand test – the last test consists of the driver standing on only one foot for at least 30 seconds while keeping their arms at their sides. Once again, elderly or overweight drivers may have inherent challenges in this test. People with balance disorders like Vertigo may also not be able to perform this test.

While these tests have the possibility of successfully proving someone is intoxicated, they are not 100% accurate, and the police can confuse incidental signs as proof of guilt.

Get a lawyer’s help

Police and the prosecution may try to push you into admitting guilt to a crime you did not commit. If you face DUI charges, the first thing you should do is contact a criminal defense attorney. Their guidance can help you fight your charges and protect your freedom and your license.