Drunk driving charges can impact an accused individual professionally and personally and can result in serious criminal penalties and other legal consequences. Many DUI charges may be based on initial field sobriety tests which is why it is essential to know how to challenge them when necessary.
There are several different ways to challenge field sobriety tests that individuals accused of a DUI should be familiar with. There are generally three different kinds of field sobriety tests including the horizontal gaze nystagmus test; the walk and turn test; and the one-leg stand test. Research has shown that even when performed properly, field sobriety tests are only 81 percent to 91 percent reliable at determining intoxication. Because of this, they may be challenged in court.
Additionally, in order for the field sobriety test to be reliable, the police officer conducting the field sobriety test must be properly trained in how to perform it. Guidelines are set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and police officers should be trained how to properly conduct a field sobriety test. In addition, the physical and mental condition of the driver must also be taken into account because both can impact the reliability of the test results as well. If the field sobriety test is not properly performed, it may be possible to challenge it.
Challenging a field sobriety test is part of attacking evidence that is being used against the accused individual if it is not reliable or was illegally obtained. There are a variety of criminal defense strategies that can be used by accused individuals who should be familiar with what they are and how to protect their future when they have been accused of driving under the influence.