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The Sobering Truth About Field Sobriety Tests

Field Sobriety Tests are useful tools taught to law enforcement agents essentially everywhere.  But they aren't entirely scientific, and they certainly aren't foolproof.  When officers administer the tests incorrectly or don't use common sense when deciding who to test, serious problems can occur.

One example of what can go wrong was highlighted in story earlier this year, and gives us all reason to be a bit uncomfortable. A woman called police after her car had been rear-ended at a stoplight. Despite being completely sober (and being the one who called police), an officer gave her a field sobriety test, which she failed.

She was obviously shaken up by the crash, and this is likely what caused her to perform poorly. Unfortunately, her nerves were mistaken for intoxication. After being arrested, blood tests showed that the woman had no drugs or alcohol in her system.

Test Results Can Be Challenged In Court

There is good news: field sobriety test results can be challenged.  Reasons such as stress or one of many different medical conditions are some examples of how these results can be explained and interpreted.  The fact that these tests are open to interpretation points to a lack of scientific precision and the need for common sense. 

Hopefully you will never find yourself facing a legal dilemma like this. But if you happen to experience this type of difficulty, be hopeful and mindful that the outcome isn't always as destined as it appears. A good criminal defense attorney can help you protect your rights and fight bogus DUI charges.

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