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The process of challenging field sobriety tests

On Behalf of | Oct 29, 2019 | DUI/DWI

A DUI charge may be based on something as seemingly straightforward as a field sobriety test, however, there are a variety of ways a field sobriety test may be invalid so it is important for accused individuals facing DUI charges to be familiar with what those are. A strong criminal defense strategy may challenge any field sobriety test conducted so accused individuals should know how to do that.

There are different options for challenging field sobriety tests that accused drivers should be familiar with. A field sobriety test may form the basis for DUI charges which is why they are so important to know how to challenge. In addition, they may be flawed which is important for accused drivers to be aware of. There are generally three types of field sobriety tests including the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk and turn test and the one-leg stand test. It may be possible to challenge the reliability of these tests as some studies have found that even when they are performed properly, they are only 80% to 91% reliable.

In addition, it is possible that the field sobriety test was conducted improperly. This can happen when the police officer failed to perform the field sobriety test properly. It could mean that either the police officer was not properly trained to perform the field sobriety test or the police officer did not follow their training when performing the field sobriety test. Guidelines for conducting field sobriety tests to help ensure their reliability are established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and field sobriety tests should be conducted in accordance with those guidelines.

Lastly, it is important for the police officer conducting the field sobriety test to take into account the accused driver’s physical and medical conditions to help ensure accuracy of the test results. DUI charges have the ability to take a lot away from the accused driver and turn their life upside down which is why it is essential for them to be able to defend against the charges they are facing which includes potentially challenging a field sobriety test when necessary.

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