Why You Might Fail A Field Sobriety Test Even If You Are Sober

November 4, 2013

DUISometimes people may fail field sobriety tests for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with being intoxicated. These kinds of tests are often given to people in certain situations that make them impossible to pass, and can be administered incorrectly and unfairly. Before administering the test, the officer is supposed to ask you if you have any existing medical conditions, but that part is often skipped. From physical troubles to unfair testing, here are some of the common reasons why you may fail a field sobriety test even if you aren’t intoxicated:

1. Assumption
Police officers are on the lookout for violators. Even before starting the field sobriety test, the officer has already believed that you are drunk. They likely aren’t going to give you the benefit of the doubt.

2. Poor Balance
One part of the test requires you to stand on one leg and maintain good balance. This may be difficult for people who have leg, back or hip injuries that cause them to waddle. This could also make the walk-and-turn test difficult to complete without light stumbling or off-balance.

3. Nerves
Anyone is going to be nervous if they are pulled over by law enforcement, even if they have done nothing wrong. A field sobriety test can be a stressful situation for most people and it can be very difficult to concentrate on a dexterity test when there is traffic zipping by or you’re worrying that you could get arrested if you fail.

4. Exhaustion
Being overly tired can affect how well you perform on a field sobriety test and can mirror the behaviors of someone who has had 1 or 2 beers.

5. Poor Weather and Road Conditions
Police will test drivers under any weather conditions. Rainy weather, high winds, and uneven surfaces can all impact a subject’s ability to perform a field sobriety test in a totally accurate way.

6. Unclear Instructions
The typical DUI suspect is not familiar with these tests, which can easily be confusing. The officers administering the tests have likely tested people hundreds of times, but that doesn’t mean that you know exactly what to do. This could also result from a language barrier. If the person pulled over doesn’t fully speak or understand English, they may fail the test because they were confused about what they were asked to do.

7. Improperly Administered
There are specific instructions in each state for administering field sobriety tests. If the officer does not comply fully with these instructions, a sober person can still fail the test.

If you have been pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence, contact a Tucson DUI attorney at Thrush Law Group immediately. It is our goal to provide legal representation and protect your rights in your case for the best chance of dismissal or acquittal.

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