Field sobriety tests may lead to serious DUI charges which is why accused drivers need to be familiar with how they can challenge them. Part of challenging DUI charges may include challenging a field sobriety test and there are a variety of different ways to challenge a field sobriety test.
Drunk driving charges can result in serious penalties and consequences including stiff punishments such as jail time and harsh fines. There are generally 3 different types of field sobriety tests. The different types of field sobriety tests include the horizontal gaze nystagmus test; walk and turn test; and one-leg stand test. One method of challenging a field sobriety test is to challenge their overall reliability. Some studies show that even when field sobriety tests are properly performed, they are only 81% to 91% reliable for determining intoxication.
In addition, it may be possible to challenge the reliability of a field sobriety test that was not properly performed. Guidelines are established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the administration of field sobriety tests and if a field sobriety test is not conducted according to the officer’s training, or the officer did not receive proper training, it may be possible to challenge the accuracy and reliability of the test results. Lastly, it is important for the police officer conducting the field sobriety test to take into account the physical and mental conditions of the driver at the time of the test and if they fail to do so, it may also call into question the reliability of the test results.
Because DUI charges are such significant criminal charges, and field sobriety tests may lead to drunk driving charges, it is essential for drivers facing DUI charges to know how they can challenge a field sobriety test. Being accused of impaired driving can be overwhelming so accused drivers should know how to protect themselves with a strong criminal defense strategy.