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3 ways to challenge field sobriety test results

On Behalf of | Sep 20, 2022 | Criminal Defense, Drunk Driving

If you have been arrested for drunk driving, you may need to submit to field sobriety tests. These tests are designed to assess your level of intoxication and can be used as evidence against you in a Texas court. However, there are ways to challenge the results of these tests if you believe that they were inaccurate or unfair.

Errors conducting the test

There are three types of commonly used field sobriety tests: the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk-and-turn test and the one-leg stand test. A police officer can conduct the horizontal gaze nystagmus test by having the suspect follow a moving object with their eyes. The walk-and-turn test requires the suspect to walk heel-to-toe in a straight line, turn around, and then walk back.

The one-leg stand test is exactly what it sounds like – the suspect must stand on one leg for a period of time. There are specific instructions that the arresting officer has to follow for each drunk driving test in order for the results to be valid. If the arresting officer did not conduct the test properly, then the results may not be accurate.

Unfavorable conditions

Field sobriety tests are best conducted in ideal conditions, such as on a level and dry surface. If the test is conducted in poor weather or on an uneven surface, it can impact the results.

Additionally, the time of day can affect the outcome of field sobriety tests. These tests are generally less accurate at night as it can be more difficult to see in the dark. If you believe that the conditions of your field sobriety test were unfavorable, you may be able to challenge the results.

Medical conditions

For example, inner ear infections or neurological disorders can affect balance, making it more difficult to complete the one-leg stand test. Also, some medications can cause side effects that make it difficult to complete field sobriety tests accurately. For instance, some anti-anxiety medications can cause drowsiness and dizziness. If you have a medical condition that you believe impacted the results of your field sobriety test, you may use this as part of your defense.

There are many other ways to challenge field sobriety tests, but these are some of the most common. If you get arrested for drunk driving, it is important to calm down and carefully consider all of your options before taking any action.