One of the primary components of a drunk driving charge may be field sobriety tests. As a result, it is helpful for accused individuals to be familiar with how to defend themselves against a DWI charge and how to challenge field sobriety tests.
The reality is that field sobriety tests can be flawed which means they can produce unreliable and inaccurate results. There are generally three types of field sobriety tests including horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk and turn test and the one-leg stand test. Some studies show that even when these tests are properly performed, they are only 81% to 91% reliable at correctly determining intoxication.
In addition, it is essential for police officers to be properly trained to conduct field sobriety tests for the test to produce reliable results. Guidelines for conducting field sobriety tests are established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Police officers must be properly trained to conduct field sobriety tests and also ensure they apply that training when conducting field sobriety tests. If they do not, the accused driver may be able to challenge the charges they are facing on that basis. Lastly, the driver’s physical and mental medical condition must also be taken into account when evaluating a field sobriety test.
Many drunk driving charges may rest on field sobriety tests which is why it is essential for accused drivers to be familiar with their criminal defense rights and how they may be able to challenge their DWI charges. In some situations, an accused driver may find it essential to challenge the evidence alleged against them such as a field sobriety test so in that situation, they must know how to do that and how criminal defense options can help them potentially avoid the charges, penalties and consequences they are facing depending on the circumstances.