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Methods of challenging field sobriety tests

Understanding how DUI charges are brought, and how to challenge them when necessary, is important for any accused individual to be aware of. Both breath tests and field sobriety tests may form the basis of DUI charges and there are options to challenge both that the accused individuals should be familiar with, especially if the charges the accused individual is facing are based on a field sobriety test.

There are three basic types of field sobriety tests including the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk and turn test and the one-leg stand test. It is important that each of these tests are properly performed by the police officer conducting them. The police officer should perform the tests according to the guidelines that are set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In order to conduct the tests properly, the police officer must also be properly trained to perform them and must follow that training.

In addition, it may be possible to challenge the reliability of the test entirely as studies have shown that, even when field sobriety tests are performed properly, they are only between 81 percent and 91 percent reliable at determining intoxication. It is also essential that the accused driver's physical and mental condition are taken into account, which can also impact the results of a field sobriety test. As a result of all of this, it may be possible to challenge field sobriety tests based on how they were conducted.

DUI charges can be life-altering which is why accused drivers need to know how to be able to challenge the alleged evidence against them. DUI charges are serious charges with serious potential penalties and consequences the accused driver is facing so preparing a strong criminal defense response is invaluable.

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Sevila, Saunders, Huddleston & White
30 North King Street
Leesburg, VA 20176

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