What might affect the validity of a field sobriety test?

Whenever a police officer stops a driver on suspicion of drunk driving, it is very likely that the officer will choose to employ a field sobriety test to demonstrate the sobriety or inebriation of the driver. However, these tests are not magically perfect, and many factors may affect them, producing undependable results. In many cases, an experienced attorney may identify grounds on which to challenge the accuracy of a field sobriety test.

Depending on the nature of the tests used and the evidence that the prosecution claims against the driver, an attorney may choose to challenge the validity of the results. For instance, if an officer does not properly administer the test, the results may prove undependable. Similarly, if the officer administers the test using equipment that is not properly maintained and calibrated, the results also may not hold up to scrutiny.

In some cases, it is possible to challenge not only the accuracy of the test administered, but also the conduct of the officer who administered it. Police officers must conduct themselves according to certain procedural rules to avoid violating the rights of those they stop. If they violate the rights of the person they stop on suspicion of drunk driving, an attorney may suggest that the results are not impartial, but rather influenced by unfair practices on the part of the administering officer.

An experienced defense attorney can help if you suspect that your drink driving charges may not hold up to scrutiny. With proper guidance, you can build strong defense to protect your rights and preserve your future opportunities.

Source: Findlaw, "Defenses to Drunk Driving," accessed Nov. 17, 2017

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