Field Sobriety Tests in DUI Cases

Challenging Field Sobriety Tests in DUI Cases

One of the most common ways to challenge an arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is to challenge the field sobriety test(s) used by law enforcement officers to support the arrest.  There are many ways an officer can botch a field sobriety test.  If the arresting officer does not comply with the NHTSA guidelines in administering and interpreting the tests, then you may be able to get your case thrown out.

Improper administration of field sobriety tests

It is possible for a law enforcement officer to administer a field sobriety test improperly.  She could give incorrect instructions, or not understand how to administer the test accurately.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has established guidelines regarding how the standardized field sobriety tests must be given.  When these guidelines are not followed, the results of the tests may not be admissible as evidence against you.

Faulty interpretation of field sobriety tests

Another way that law enforcement officers can botch a field sobriety test, is by failing to properly interpret the results.  Even if the officer gives the right instructions and follows all of the guidelines in administering the test, if the results are not accurately interpreted, the test can still be challenged.

How can you challenge the field sobriety test?

With most patrol cars having dashboard cams, the footage on these cams can prove to be very useful in determining, and proving that a field sobriety test was not properly administered or interpreted.  Evidence from the video, along with aggressive cross-examination of the arresting officers will determine whether you actually failed the field sobriety test, or whether the officer made a mistake. If you passed the test, the results will serve as evidence that you were not intoxicated.

If you have questions regarding DUI charges, or any other criminal defense matters, please contact Ketcham Law by calling us at (205) 296-4233.

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