If you get arrested and charged with a DUI, you may start to worry, especially when you think about the harm that it can have on your career, finances and personal life. Thankfully, you do have options and one of those is to challenge the field sobriety tests that were used against you.
Did the arresting police officer have probable cause?
When stopping a driver suspected of drunk driving, the police officer must have what’s called “probable cause.” This means that the officer had a reasonable belief, based on observations, that the driver was actually impaired. For instance, the officer may have observed the driver weaving in and out of lanes, or driving erratically. If the officer did not have probable cause to make the stop, then anything that happened after that-including administering field sobriety tests-may be illegal.
Was the field sobriety test properly administered?
In order for a field sobriety test to be admissible in court, it must correctly administered. This means that the police officer who administered the test followed all of the proper procedures. These include explaining the instructions to the driver before administering the DUI test, making sure that the driver understands the instructions, and making sure that the test is given under conditions that are conducive to its accuracy. For instance, if the test is given on a dark and rainy night, it may not be as accurate as if it were given on a sunny day.
Was the test accurate?
Even if the field sobriety test was properly administered, it may not be accurate. This is because many factors can affect a person’s performance on these tests, including nervousness, fatigue, illness and medications. In addition, some people simply have trouble with coordination or balance, even when they are sober.
If you get charged with a DUI, therefore, don’t lose hope. By understanding your rights and the law, you may be able to challenge the field sobriety tests and have your charges reduced or even dismissed. Just remember to consider all of your options and gather all the necessary evidence before making any decisions.