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The Unreliability of Field Sobriety Tests

One of the main types of evidence that the state uses in DUI cases is the field sobriety test. However, field sobriety tests can be very unreliable, and if a majority of the state’s case against you depends on such a test, your Sacramento DUI attorney may be able to fight the charges.

The unreliability of field sobriety tests lies in the fact that they can be affected by external factors. Consider the police officer’s old standby, the walk-and-turn coordination test. This passing this test requires the suspect to walk in a straight line without stumbling. But what if the test was administered on a sloped shoulder of a road covered in gravel? These tests are also unreliable because the officer has nothing to compare your results to. Perhaps you are naturally uncoordinated and would have failed the test even while sober.

There are still significant problems with field sobriety tests that are based on physiological evidence of intoxication. The police officer may administer a horizontal gaze nystagmus test. Nystagmus is the medical term for the involuntary twitching of the eyeball and can in some cases suggest intoxication. However, using this test does not account for naturally occurring nystagmus, and if your eyeballs move that way even when you’re sober, it may dramatically weaken the state’s case.

If you have been charged with a DUI in Sacramento, you need an experienced Sacramento DUI attorney who can find the weaknesses in the state’s case against you. Call Sacramento DUI attorney Param Pabla today for a consultation.

Client Reviews
“Mr. Pabla represented me with my DUI case. He has excellent communication skills and always kept me informed. Mr. Pabla made sure I understood the process and my rights. He eased my mind through a very stressful situation. I highly recommend Mr. Pabla.” Gurpreet
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“Param was excellent in my court case of failure to stop at a stop sign. The officer could not see clearly because he was too far away. The officer insisted he could and said he had video but could not produce it at the trial. The officer then asked if he could suspend the trial to go get the video but the judge said he should have had plenty of time to get the video ready beforehand. Needless to say, the judge ruled in my favor and dismissed the case which enraged the officer. Pabla Param’s defense and cross examination skills were excellent and paramount in having the case dismissed. Highly recommended.” T.C.
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