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Sacramento Criminal Defense Attorney Explains Why Failing Field Sobriety Tests Does Not Mean You Will Be Found Guilty

Field Sobriety Test If you are stopped on suspicion of DUI and submit to field sobriety tests, the odds are high that you will fail. In my experience as a Sacramento criminal defense attorney , I know that sober individuals can easily fail these tests. Why are false positives so common? Here are three of the many reasons.

  1. Many people have physical conditions that doom them to failure . Field sobriety tests like the walk and turn or one leg stand are physically demanding. Most people are not at their best when stopped by police late at night. An individual’s performance can be affected by such factors as lack of coordination, nerves, fatigue, hunger, injuries, age, or weight.
  2. The roadside conditions under which the tests are administered are often less than ideal. Field sobriety tests are supposed to be administered on a level surface. Often the roadside is anything but level. In addition, the distraction of the lights from passing vehicles, weather conditions (wind, rain), and darkness can all make it difficult to turn in a good performance. Finally, even shoes can explain wobbling and balance problems. Field sobriety tests are very difficult to perform in footwear such as high heels, sandals, and flip flops.
  3. It’s difficult to understand and follow the complex instructions after hearing them only once. Most field sobriety tests are divided attention tests that require you to do several things at once. Usually the officer gives the instructions and demonstrates the test one time, taking only about 15 seconds. Then you have to remember all the instructions and perform the test with no practice. It’s like doing a dance after seeing the steps once.

A skilled Sacramento criminal defense attorney will be familiar with these and other reasons for questioning your field sobriety tests results. Should your case go to trial, your attorney should know how to bring these issues to the jury’s attention to cast doubt on the officer’s testimony that you failed the tests.

Contact a Sacramento Criminal Defense Attorney

Dedicated Sacramento criminal defense attorney Param Pabla will work tirelessly to minimize the impact of a DUI on your life. For an initial consultation, please call (916) 285-7900 today.

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