Drunk driving charges can have a significantly negative impact on the lives of accused drivers. DUI charges can sometimes result from an allegedly failed sobriety test but they may be challenged. There are commonly three different types of field sobriety tests and it is important for accused drivers to be familiar with methods of challenging them.
- The field sobriety test is unreliable – some studies have shown that field sobriety tests can be unreliable at determining intoxication. Some studies have shown that even when properly administered, field sobriety tests are only 81% to 91% accurate at determining intoxication. This means it may be possible to challenge the accuracy of a field sobriety test in court when facing DUI charges.
- The field sobriety test was not performed properly – it is important that police officers are properly trained concerning how to administer field sobriety tests and must administer the field sobriety test according to the training they receive. When a field sobriety test is administered in a manner that is not in accordance with training the police officer has received, or the police officer has received poor or inadequate training, it may be possible to challenge the results of the field sobriety test. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration establishes guidelines for how field sobriety tests should be administered.
- The police officer administering the field sobriety test failed to account for the accused driver’s mental or physical condition – a variety of different mental or physical conditions can impact the outcome of a field sobriety test ranging from ear infections to neurological injuries which is why the driver’s mental and physical conditions must be taken into account when administering a field sobriety tests and considering the results of a field sobriety test.
Challenging the validity of a field sobriety test is one type of DUI defense for accused drivers to consider. Overall, there are a variety of different criminal defense strategies accused drivers should be familiar with whenever they are facing the seriousness of a drunk driving charge.