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If you've been pulled over for a DUI, a key to your defense may be challenging your field sobriety test.
With the option to refuse chemical tests for alcohol while pulled over, the field sobriety test may be the main piece of evidence against you when facing a DUI charge.
Here are three potential ways to contest a field sobriety test:
1. Flaws in the Test.
A field sobriety test or "FST" typically is made up of three different tests:
These tests can be challenged for their reliability in court, and some studies show that even when performed properly, the tests are only between 81% and 91% reliable in determining intoxication.
2. The Officer Failed to Perform Standard Tests Correctly.
You may also challenge whether the arresting officer executed the tests correctly in accordance with the guidelines set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Officers who ask DUI suspects to spell the alphabet backwards, touch their fingers to their noses, or use other non-standard tests may have this testimony challenged as unreliable to determine intoxication. In some states like Ohio, only the standard tests may be allowed into evidence.
3. The Officer Failed to Consider Your Physical or Mental Condition.
Many drivers who are subjected to a FST have a medical or psychological condition that will greatly skew the test results. Common problematic conditions include:
These are just three examples of potential challenges to field sobriety tests. If you are facing charges for driving under the influence, it's wise to contact an experienced DUI lawyer near you to see which defenses may work best for you.