If you are stopped by the police and they ask you to take field sobriety tests, you need to understand your rights as well as how these tests work. Field sobriety tests are not without their downsides or faults, and they can be inaccurate. It’s possible to challenge the results and protect yourself even if failing to complete them has led to a DWI charge.
The three most common field sobriety tests that you could be given require you to balance and stand on one leg, walk and turn while maintaining your balance and to watch an object or light with your eyes while it moves. These three tests try to identify if you have changes in vision, balance, comprehension or listening skills among other issues that may arise when a person is intoxicated.
How can you challenge field sobriety test results?
You can challenge the results of field sobriety tests in many ways depending on your circumstances. For example, you could challenge the results of the horizontal gaze nystagmus test with evidence of a neurological condition that affects the way your eyes move. You might challenge the walk-and-turn test if you have issues with your balance, too.
Additionally, officers need to administer the right tests and to administer them properly. If an officer asks you to perform a nonstandardized field sobriety test or administers the tests in an unusual way, then the results may not be admissible in court.
Is a medical reason enough to challenge field sobriety test results?
Sometimes, yes. If you have a medical condition, that condition could hinder your ability to complete the tests accurately. If the condition makes it so you’ll fail the test regularly or every time despite being sober, then you have a good basis for a defense based on your condition. It’s not unreasonable to ask that the court considers your health when determining the outcome of your case, because failing to do so could mean that you’re falsely accused of intoxication and drunk driving.
Everyone’s case is different, so it’s worth discussing your options and looking into building a strong defense. A good defense may help you avoid a DWI conviction.