Can I Challenge a Field Sobriety Test?

When you get arrested for driving under the influence, one of the most common pieces of evidence that will be used against you in court is the result of your field sobriety tests. However, these tests are rarely based in science — they are often more subjective based on the arresting officer’s opinion.

If you feel as though your field sobriety test was conducted improperly or was in error, there are several ways you can challenge the tests to reduce or dismiss your charge.

How You Can Challenge a Field Sobriety Tests

Commonly Performed Tests

In order to determine if they think you’re driving under the influence, a police officer may have you perform:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus tests (follow an object with your eyes)

  • One-leg stands

  • Walk-and-turns

  • Rhomberg Tests (count to 30 with your head back and eyes closed)

These tests are often performed after you're pulled over, right on the side of the road. The problem is that they are not an accurate way to test for sobriety.

Flaws with Field Sobriety Tests

While FSTs are done with the intention of proving whether or not you are sober enough to be safely and legally behind the wheel, there are several factors that they do not take into account.

Your Physicality

If you are overweight, have a medical condition (or are recovering from one), or are otherwise physically impaired, you may show indicators of impairment, even if you are sober, convincing an officer otherwise. This may also apply if you wear contacts or are taking certain prescribed medications.

Mental State

Being pulled over for a DUI is a very stressful experience. If you’re experiencing or recovering from mental or emotional trauma, you may not be able to perform a FST to an officer’s satisfaction.

Roadside Conditions

Many roadside conditions can cause you to “underperform” during a FST. These can include if the ground isn’t level or solid, there is poor weather, and more.

Fighting DUI Charges in

When you want to challenge your field sobriety tests, you need to have an experienced DUI attorney on your side. The team at The Lerch Law Firm has handled thousands of DUI cases in Savannah and the surrounding areas and builds individually-tailored DUI defense strategies for each of our clients.

Contact us today to schedule a free initial case review!