Following a traffic stop, law enforcement officials may conduct a field sobriety test on you to give the police probable cause for following up with a Breathalyzer test.
However, field sobriety tests are not always accurate. As a result, you could be on the spot even when perfectly sober following a failed test.
What could lead to wrong results?
Several factors may lead to inaccurate field sobriety test results. For a start, the test may be carried out by an untrained police officer who may be unaware of how to carry out the test or issue wrong instructions. In addition, given that you could be under pressure to perform, you may end up failing the test altogether.
A physical disability may also lead to a wrong conclusion. For example, if you have a condition that affects your eyesight or balance, you may perform poorly on these field sobriety tests. Equally, an uneven or loose road surface may affect your results — and so could bad shoes.
How does this affect your case?
What you need to remember is that you are under no legal obligation whatsoever to submit to field sobriety testing. Unlike a chemical breath test that can measure your blood alcohol content, these quasi-scientific field sobriety tests aren’t reliable. If you do submit to the tests and fail, you can always challenge the results, and that can weaken the prosecution’s case.
How you handle your defense will determine the conclusion of your case, which is why you need to be on top of things as soon as the police pull you over.